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In the Northern Rhone, 2016 was an ideal vintage. Overall, the vintage produced concentrated, elegant wines that are energetic and fresh. If judging by Stephane Pichat's Côte-Rôtie Löss, it appears 2016 Northern Rhones will be sought after.
Löss is assembled from three parcels: Cognet, Fongeant, and Gerine. It spends approximately 18 months in 1- and 2-year old barrels and is made from 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier from vines of 30-35 years of age.
It shows complex aromas of black fruits, and spices, and a touch of wildness; lovely ripe blackberry fruit flavors, with notes of grilled meats and Provençale spices, and a round structure that makes it enjoyable to drink in its youth.
About the estate:
The Pichat family has been vineyards owners for several generations. Stéphane’s grandfather sold his Côte Rôtie in barrel to local bars and restaurants, while his father sold off the entire production to the likes of Guigal and Chapoutier. Stéphane still sells a few barrels to Chapoutier, and to the Perrin Family, but now bottles the majority of his production himself. He farms sustainable, using no herbicides or insecticides in his vineyards. He has been making the wines at the estate since 2000, and he has really come into his own in the last several vintages, receiving high praise from the wine press, both in the US and in Europe. Among his 4.5 hectares are some of the finest plots of Côte Rôtie in the Côte Brune, such as the highly esteemed Champon, and the superlative Les Grandes Places. Production is still small, and with land at a premium, unlikely to increase anytime soon.
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