Champet Côte Rôtie 2014

10/19/17 -


This wine is delicious and easy to drink, but it seems clear that it’s a baby, and will have a lot more to offer after a few more years in bottle. I’ve tasted it twice in recent months – the first time probably too soon after it had been shipped; last Friday it was much more open, complex, and appealing.  We had last-minute guests, and I grilled butterflied lamb – the Champet was perfect with it (and the wine wowed our friends). It’s quite intensely aromatic – a fine combo of dark fruits and savory and stony scents. This all follows through on the palate, which is rich but not at all heavy. There’s a bit more tannin than in some modern examples (fermentation is with whole clusters), but there is also plenty of material to balance the tannin. The wine is not fined or filtered, and has just the right texture and sense of purity to underline this. It’s a very classic, old-school Côte Rôtie, not rustic, but certainly not polished or slicked-up with new wood. Champet is one of the only fundamentally unchanged domaines in the Northern Rhone, where apparently much is as it was when Emile Champet first bottled his Côte Rôtie in 1967. I think it’s a very cool thing that such a wine is still being made, and that we get to try it! Jamie Wolff

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