Tasted in Gevrey with Pierre-Jean Roty, 26 November 2020.
Domaine Joseph Roty
24 Rue Mal de Lattre de Tassigny
Tel: +33 3 80 34 13 59
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The Rotys of Gevrey work in their own way, which means they like to show wines when they are ready for the market – so no 2019s here, rather the 2018s!
Pierre-Jean on 2020:
“La course! There was the episode of covid-confinement but the vines were already starting to move – they were a couple of weeks ahead of an average year – very precocious. The confinement gave me the opportunity to delay, by a month, the bottling of the 18s and find the best lunar cycle for that. We had an eye on the weather because there was always a chance of frost with such an early start. A year with heat but even more-so of drought. But good pinot, small to medium grapes and extra millerandes, because of that not much more than half of a normal harvest though and that means less than in 2003. We have a lot of older vines which support very well the dryness but all the vines with the heat delivered less juice. The chance for a great vintage – maybe 1996 again? Let’s see…”
Pierre-Jean on 2019:
“2019 was about the heat, the big heat. A particular climate with 3 waves of strong heat. The spring brought a rewarming of the wet soil and at the same time the racking of the 2018s. After came some risk of frost, which brought some coming together of younger vignerons working together to protect their investments in buildings and vines – I don’t think the burning of the straw helps, but the windmills seemed to work quite well. The vines pushed abundantly, treatments often at 4 or 5 am to work precisely in the vines out from the full heat – there was little rain in the summer season. The harvest began 20 September with no loss of the quality in the skins but some roasted grapes from the sun – we had some similar roast grapes the last time in 2012. Triage was relatively easy though, the harvest lasting 8 days with just a big rain while we were harvesting the Bourgogne – no blockage noted in ripening – like we had a little of in 2018. A good vintage underway. The colours seem even more than in 2018, the fermentations started nicely, slowly, and then took off!”
Pierre-Jean on 2018:
“It was a wet, indeed very wet, winter right to the start of Spring – but Spring was also wet – we thought we were going to have a re-run of 2013 there was so much rain – the clay was struggling to deal with the volume and there were springs visible in the vineyards that are rarely seen. Finally, the warmth arrived and vines pushed – they pushed very quickly! We had to open the soil, to plough and aerate the soil rather later than usual as the ground had been so wet. There was a big pressure for mildew before the heat dispersed all the moisture in the soil. Much work was needed to keep up with the vines – then came an excellent period of flowering – the first grapes started to change their colour very early but we had a little blocking of the maturation due to some heatwaves – two – before slowly ripening in agood way. The degrees were fine as was the quantity of acidity. No grilled grapes in this vintage. Our formula hasn’t changed, also not in 2018, we make sure that we have used up all the sugar before we place the wine in barrel.”
Hardly a suggestion oak about any of these wines, such is the power of 2018. And what a cellar in this vintage – wines of presence, depth, and none of the excesses that were so often found in the vintage – a great cellar for 2018s.
16 reds, 2 whites and a rosé, all bottled:
As I’m sure you’re all aware, 2012 was the first vintage where this label came into being; a replacement for the old Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire label. In this case, the wine is 100% pinot noir.
Really plenty of colour. An attractive aromatic combination of both freshness and depth – a certain aromatic tightness and spice – but just an accent of the latter. Hmm, a little graphite minerality, depth, freshness, width – just a couple of mm of richness to the texture. Energetic and intense at the same time – wide and completely captivating in the finish. That’s completely top wine for the label…
From vines in the Marsannay Rosé appellation which are being promoted to Marsannay rouge, but declassified here.
Lots of colur again, approaching saturated. This is a nose of such depth, it’s hard to comprehend that we are tasting a Bourgogne – the fruit a little roast at the core yet it still manages to find some freshness of flowers at the edges. None of the roast impression in the flavour; wide, concentrated, balanced with fine freshness – hardly any fat. Full wine. Bravo this will be great, great Bourgogne in 10 years…
All from the bottom of Gevrey.
Almost as deep a colour as the last. The nose has width and a little less density but a suggestion more finesse. Supple, wide, concentrated but that would be for nothing without balance, and here we have it in spades with fresh dimnensions of flavour. Mouth-watering wide over the palate – more explicitly perfumed this wine. Bravo again.
The domaine have 8.5 hectares in Marsannay:
Mid-slope vines from 5 locations, all of which, potentially, would be Marsannay 1er. About 36 hl/ha in this vintage.
A nose that’s a little more vertical – fine higher tones, clarity of depth but a little less width. Extra silk to this texture, the forst showing a suggestion of tannin – but no grain. For the depth of colour this has an airy, fine style that’s open, complex but also shows a little delicacy. Great black-fruited Marsannay.
2018 Marsannay Champs St.Etienne
One of the lieu-dits with the oldest history, nuns replanting in the 1600s – just like Chambertin. Not a monopole – there’s one other producer but Roty is currently the only one with the climat name on a label.
Again an airy style – this time to the nose – freshness of dark berries – open and attractive. Wide, fresh, a little minerality showing here – just a bit more tannin too – but there’s no grain to this. An almost inky depth – crunchy but still with a certain finesse. Hard work tasting these today – not!
80-90 year old vines for this cuvée. A wine that’s emblematic of Domaine Roty but not a 1er – why? – well it’s just like that!
Also darkly fruited and wider in the base too. A lick more of structural tannin – so floral in this energetic, mouth-wateringly energetic but somehow contemplative middle flavour. The tannin sticks around a little in the finish but in doing-so cements the great floral and black cherry flavour more persistently in the finish. Great Marsanny…
A nicely vibrant nose, deep and dark as you would expect, yet accented with fruit of purity – indeed clarity. Extra – concentration, textural richness but no fat. Depth of flavour, a suggestion of minerality and all the while with a mouth-watering backdrop to all these persistent flavours. This will be great but needs a bit more time than the Ouzeloy…
2018 Marsannay Clos de Jeu
Such a depth of dark fruit flavour again – a suggestion of slightly cooked – maybe yes, maybe no – it’s a mobile nose, but aeration certain adds a more floral component that hides it. Broad, fresh, a little less depth to the flavour, a little more depth to the structural tannin. More intense finishing, here with a slight dryness of tannin but almost powdered – über-fine grain. The combination almost saturates the palate. Long, long…
2018 Côte de Nuits Villages
Aromas that are airy but still full of graphite-style minerality. Much more open and mouth-watering – great clarity of flavour here, the first impression is that this will be more tannic, yet the structure remains very-much in the background. I love the impressive power of this finish – certainly different to the Marsannay yet somehow retaining an impressively finessed style…
An assembly of vines in different lieu-dits in the centre of Gevrey some deep into the cone of dejection.
Not the most saturated but still impressively coloured. A nose of finesse, but less impact than most of the previous wines – at least, today. Fuller, more structural tannin but, yet again, with such a mouth-watering balance you note the flavour more – not that I’m suggesting that you drink early but this finishes with great authority for such a label.
2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Champs Chenys
At the foot of Charmes-Chambertin
A nose that likes to play games with you – the first sniff full of perfume, the second not, then it’s back again – soft red fruits too. So juicy. Structural for sure, but not gothic and the flavour is more than a match. Such excellent wine, slowly fading with wave after wave of fresh flavour.
Nice width of aroma less depth than the others today – but a certain sophistication of aroma. Not just of aroma! The texture is excuisite here, silky, only becoming a little more velvet as the tannin begins tho show in an accent. Wide, airy, more direct than the others, but confidently concentrated wine too. Bravo. Such a sophisticated – and one should say, delicious wine.
2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur Bas
The bas is shorthand for villages – the higher part is the 1er cru.
The aromatic style of this wine is a match for that of the Brunelle – a little more compact but also with a fine and rewarding freshness. The structure is on a higher but far from deafening level. The fruit, darker, balances the structure well as it’s also rather mouth-watering. A little more serious than the Brunelle but with a lovely acidulated-fruit in the finish – a wine of substance!
Here’s a more open and much deeper nose – there’s no reduction driving this, just 100% wine. Wide and so fresh – such cool fruit, such minerality too – Ooh – the blacker fruit is completely secondary to the structure and style of this and I couldn’t care less for this is great wine, academic wine, such complex wine. Such a persistent wine. Great wine.
Now here’s a very open width of attractive aroma – directly a big invitation with fresh flowers over a silky base of fruit. Here is a style that recalls the Fontenys but with more depth and sweetness of Mazy fruit. Ultra-attractive wine, I have a slightly self-flagellating preference for the more austere Fontenys today – but this wine is such a crowd pleaser – Bravo!
A nose of width and depth, less open in the higher tones – an impression of cherry stones in the aromas. Structure which melts over the palate, such a dark cherry intensity of well-packaged fruit. Darker fruited and less sweet than the Mazy, also becoming nicely floral in the finishing flavours. A cleaner less textural finish as the tannin is present but with hardly a grain or dryness. Holding well. Griote can be facile when young – not this one!
Now 140-year-old vines.
Such a silky nose, suggesting a faint spice. Dark-fruited aromas, profoundly so. Impact, depth, growing in intensity, structural but more an accent of such, a super energy to wine also – the balanced combination of energy, intensity and concentration is rare, this is a wine that will live s i g n i f i c a n t l y longer than me. Respect! Such a great finish too.
The only wine missing from the line-up is the aligoté – and that’s because it’s already sold-out!
Old vines, over 50 average, from 2 lieu-dits, the colour from direct pressure, cases of about 30kg, triage and then destemmed, the press done at below one bar so very low pressure. Elevage like the other wines – 18 months in barrel.
A deep salmon colour. There’s both freshness and weight of aroma here – small red fruit in support. This is big, intense wine, not a facile summer rose (sic) – this is proper wine of concentration and intensity. Long finishing too. Wow – rosé de garde – yes, it’s only for commercial reasons we have clear bottles. Here’s no bottle that you could easily keep 10 years, should you wish…
2018 Bourgogne Blanc
80% pinot blanc in here; ‘it was JF Coche-Dury discussing with my father that had suggested that a little more core, a little more fat could come from planting pinot blanc.’
A deep, wide almost musky nose – like a chardonnay-muscaté but cleaner. Good attack. Lots of depth to the flavour – tasty wine, but I’d like a bit more acid-led energy here despite how mouth-watering and slightly saline the character shows. But, the slightly smoky finish is a really super!
2018 Marsannay Blanc
Half Champs St.Etienne, half Boivins
Not so wide, a little more freshness and more mineral depth. Extra freshness and structure – this is more my style of wine – the structure is wrapped in a little ripeness of concentrated fruit but that’s balanced by a nicely mouth-watering style and a finish of impressive density and persistence. All three of these ‘non-reds’ will benefit from keeping.