Richard Rottiers – 2016


Tasted in Romanèche-Thorins with Richard Rottiers, 21 February 2018.

Domaine Richard Rottiers
La Sambinerie
71570 Romanèche-Thorins
Tel: +33 6 63 38 16 35

Richard now has another 2 hectares of vines in Moulin à Vent so now has a total of 9 hectares for the domaine.

The new vines are just below the Domaine of Clos Riolette – the border between Fleurie and Moulin à Vent is just here. It was a large parcel, so Richard shared the purchase with François Parent of Pommard/Beaune – Caroline Parent-Gros tells me that they will be bottling their 2017 in June. Of-course this is also Richard’s first vintage, but due to the hail he had a yield of only 15 hl/ha, he notes “The vines were planted in the 1950s, though they were not organic in this first vintage, so I didn’t mix them with my other plots.

Richard has also hoping to trial some (anti) hail netting “I’m hopeful that the INAO will accept their installation, if not I might consider exiting the AOC of Moulin à Vent!

Richard on 2017:
The Beaujolais Villages was frosted last year, mainly in the bottom of the hill. The vines are fragile after two hails – see right – some parts (the cornes) of the vines have been lost as all the buds were removed – so it’s not just hard to train and prune, the are very fragile when it comes to ploughing too. There was simply nothing extra to buy in Moulin à Vent in 2017, so I have less wine. I’m having to do some replanting, and masale as I aim to keep the genetic richness but I simply can’t keep the oldest vines as I can’t get the price needed to support them.

Richard on 2016:
It’s a good Beaujolais vintage with freshness – other vintages have more power and tannin for saving, but these are wines for drinking. 80% of the crop was lost to hail on the 24 June – for what remained, the the quality is there – but it was catastrophic for volume. Unfortunately, It’s very hard to do the pruning as some of the wood is so badly damaged. I bought some grapes with the insurance money from friends who work well, but not in bio so I took it off the label, my own vines in the Beaujolais Villages keeps the bio label.

The wines…

A committed and idealistic producer who also happens to make great wine. I would pay the extra €2-3 so that he could keep his oldest vines! I’d wait for both of the Moulin à Vents, but drink the ‘Foudres’ before the domaine wine – but don’t put the foudres with a riper wine like a 2015 or you will really see the difference in sweetness (like you would with a 2014).

2017 Beaujolais Villages La Sambinerie
Bottled just a couple of weeks. Of-course a small yield – less than 15 hl/ha and partly destemmed. A little more structured than 2016, ‘We had some rain here in August in 2017 so we had less hydric stress than in, say, Brouilly.’
Ooh that a lovely pure fruit on the nose! Ooh – again – width of flavour and fresh intensity. Beautiful fruit – drinkability, drinkability – just a super wine and it holds so well too! Bravo!

2016 Beaujolais Villages La Sambinerie
The same vines as the last wine.
A little tighter but with a more visible perfume. Rounder, supple, growing wider. More depth and texture – even more tannin. Super BJV – but I prefer the more open and direct 2017… Richard says it’s a little reduced – I don’t see it but he knows his wine!

2016 Brouilly
From purchased grapes – he decided to buy them in 2017 too – the producer is a good friend. ‘Totally different, the soil is very different, not far from Pierreux, riper fruit, not the finesse of the fruit of MAV. Blue rock like Côte de Brouilly. Here the challenge is to keep the freshness as it can become very ripe and pruny.’
A vibrant nose – exuberant red fruit. Lovely in the mouth – a roundness but coupled with freshness – there’s depth to this delicious fruit which makes you very quickly forget the modest base of tannin. Excellent in its sweet, ripe, but tasty style.

2016 Moulin à Vent ‘Foudres’
From bought grapes, from neighbours, which Richard harvested – not in bio but they are starting this year. Destemmed as they were hailed – ‘I wasn’t looking for structure so didn’t push the extraction and finished elevage in foudres. A second parcel wasn’t hailed and I kept the whole clusters from that.’
A pretty, floral, complex nose – simply a lovely thing. In the mouth it’s wide, less overtly ripe and sweet than the Brouilly but with a better line and an almost mineral freshness. Complex and really super in the finishing flavours – excellent wine but turning more serious and with a little structural rigour right in the finish – so have a little patience – this is another excellent wine.

2016 Moulin à Vent
The domaine wine – just a single cuvee that combined all the parcels – ‘Even that tank wasn’t full.’ Used a grill and a longer maceration before 6 months in barrels ex Chablis.
More aromatic depth and still the complexity of the last wine though a little less elegance. Fuller – more weight of flavour – more micro-grained tannin. A bigger wine with even more structural rigour – structure that’s well covered by the fruit – and then the finish is rather complex and elegant – excellent again but almost the reverse of the last wine!

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