Country: France Region: Northern Rhône Vintage: 2014
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
Producer: François & Fils
"The François family have been traditional farmers for four generations - their main activity is making farmhouse cheeses from the milk produced by their twenty-five cows, which they sell at local markets across the Rhône Valley. They began bottling their own Côte-Rôtie in 1991, expanding it further when their son Yoann joined the business in 2004. Initially the family sold all their grapes to the local 'négociants' but they are doing so less and less as the demand for Yoann's wines is growing rapidly.
Today, the François family owns four hectares in Côte-Rôtie. These vineyards are situated in the lieux-dits of 'Les Rochains', 'La Brosse', 'Rochin' and 'Le Bourrier'. The vines are low yielding and are harvested by hand due to the steepness of the slopes. Grapes from the young vines are sold to 'négociants' or are used for their earlier drinking IGP Syrah. Only the best grapes are used to make their Côte-Rôtie.
Yoann François vinifies the parcels separately and then blends them to make a wine with great balance and layers of complexity. The parcels are aged for 14 months in 30% new oak, before the wine is blended just prior to bottling. Yoann makes Côte-Rôtie in a traditional manner with 5% Viognier, leaving around 30% of the stems on the Syrah. This gives the wine an alluring fragrance of violets and lifted fruits."
Winemaker: Yoann Francois
The François family owns approximately four hectares of vines. Its Côte-Rôtie is made using grapes from three South facing parcels: 'Les Rochains', 'Rozier' and 'Le Bourrier' which account for about 1.5 hectares. All three vineyards are located in the 'Côte Brune' in the Northern Rhône. The vineyards are very steep, as they usually are in this area, and grapes can only be harvested by hand. The soil, mainly composed of mica-schist, is rich in minerals and has proven a good base for the 30-year-old vines of Syrah and Viognier. The vines are planted at a density of 8,000 to 9,000 per hectare and yields are 35 to 40 hectolitres per hectare.
Parcels were vinified separately and then blended to make a wine with great balance and layers of complexity. Both batches were aged for 18 months in 20% new oak barrels (228 litre and 400 litre), before the wine was blended and bottled. In the Côte-Rôtie tradition, it was made with 5% Viognier and leaving around 30% of the stems on the Syrah.
Superbly concentrated with aromas of blackcurrants, brambles and blackberries and a delicious jammy character. It is well structured with richness and good density. Spices linger on the long finish.
Food Suggestion: Excellent while entertaining to accompany bowls of mixed nuts, or with a beautifully cooked cut of red meat and simple vegetables.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV: 12.5% Acidity [g/l]: 5.4