Overview of the Wine
“Stylistically, I find Champet’s Côte Rôtie the closest thing to a big Côte de Nuits Burgundy than any Côte Rôtie made by his peers.”
- Robert Parker
- Brothers Maxime and Romain Champet are the family’s third generation to champion the once nearly-abandoned Côte Rôtie cru, La Viallière.
- With slopes often exceeding 50%, La Viallière is one of the steepest, rockiest vineyards in the appellation. The Champets must do almost everything by hand, and spend a considerable portion of the year just maintaining their terrace walls.
- Winemaking has remained staunchly classical, with long macerations, little or no destemming, and aging in primarily neutral, large oak barrels.
"The domaine is today ably run by Joël Champet and his sons Romain and Maxime. Joël has been a traditional icon in his own right for the past quarter century, but he would be the first to credit his father, Emile, for the philosophy that today sets Champet apart from virtually every other domaine in Côte Rôtie.
Everything is done with an utmost respect for tradition. His barrels are all old, and whole-cluster fermentation rules the day. In fact, if Joël wanted to destem, he couldn’t. He doesn’t even own a destemmer.
Joël’s vines are all in the great La Viallière lieu-dit. That fact is advertised on his label not (as at other domaines) for purposes of fashion, but because that’s where the vines are. In the 1960s, La Viallière was almost completely covered with woods, but Joël’s father Emile took on the challenge of returning a prime part of this rugged terrain to vineyards.
It took Emile 35 years of working by hand to plant just three hectares—an extraordinary illustration of what Côte Rôtie’s true believers were willing to do to produce great wine, at a time when the extrinsic rewards for doing so were so small. But the result of Emile’s labor and vision is the iconic example of La Viallière, made ultra-transparent by the family’s old-school methods."
Grape / Blend
95% Syrah and 5% Viognier
Rich and powerful. Black fruit on the palate, followed by smoky gaminess and a nice Bacon aromas as well. Very good spicy character and silky tannins.
Less than 10% new oak (from the 30 hectoliters "foudre" barrels)94 Points - Vinous
Dark violet. Spice- and mineral-accented black and blue fruit aromas show excellent definition and pick up olive, smoky bacon and candied violet notes with air. Sappy and concentrated but energetic as well, offering palate-staining blackberry, bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors that become spicier as the wine opens up. Melds power and finesse with a sure hand and finishes impressively long and sweet, with chewy tannins building steadily. All whole clusters and 10% new oak, a combination of foudres and demi-muids.
Praise for Past Vintages
91 Points - Wine Enthusiast (Vintage 2016)
90 Points - Robert Parker (Vintage 2016)
Product size: 750ml