Les Picaudières

2013 Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph from Domaine Stéphane Rousset!

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Beginning with the 2009 vintage, and based on a recommendation from Jean Gonon, we have been featuring the wonderful Crozes-Hermitages and Saint-Joseph from Stéphane and Isabelle Rousset.  Stephane's great uncle was the legendary Raymond Roure, from whom the Roussets purchased the "Picaudières" vineyard in Gervans - it's one of the best vineyards in the region with terraces cut out of the granite and old vines planted in high density, dating back to the 1930s. Unlike most Crozes-Hermitage producers, all the Rousset's parcels are on slopes, mostly granite but with a small amount of clay-limestone as well, giving the wines more affinity to Hermitage than to the modern styles of forward and fruity Crozes-Hermitage grown on the flats.

Our tasting last January with Stèphane confirmed our enthusiasm for these lovely wines. The 2013s are showing beautifully and the next two vintages here will be outstanding as well. The "problem" with these wines is that they are too expressive of the terroir. Though there are complex, delicious fruit qualities in the wines, they are framed in the acidity and mineral character typical of the primarily granite hillsides.  It's quite delicious now, but even the inexpensive Crozes-Hermitage will benefit from three to five years of cellaring before drinking.  Any fan of Northern Rhone Syrah should try these honest and authentic wines - Stèphane and his father Robert are quietly making among the finest and most traditional wines of the region.

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Rousset 2013 Crozes-Hermitage Les Picaudières

Les Picaudières is perhaps the best vineyard in Crozes-Hermitage, formerly owned by Raymond Roure. It's a steep slope of granite terraces, isolated in an oak forest facing due south and protected from the wind. (In the opinion of Livingston-Learmonth in "Wines of the Northern Rhône"  wine from Les Picaudieres is "certainly better" than many Hermitage from the eastern part of the hill.) The vines range from 20 to 80 years-old. The grapes are hand-harvested and mostly de-stemmed. The wine ages 16 months, 40% in foudre, 60% in burgundy barrels, new to 5 year-old. 2013 is an excellent vintage at Domaine Rousset. The 2013 Les Picaudieres shows deep pure aromas of blackberry, black cherry and red currant with hints of violets, earth and licorice. The palate is dense and well-structured with black fruits, mint and saline  minerals. This is a serious wine of terroir - a very elegant Crozes that should be decanted if drunk young, best 2020 to 2030+. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

Rousset 2013 Saint-Joseph

From a one-half hectare parcel of 60 year-old vines in "Les Rivoires" on the lower slope in Tournon, granite soils. Aged 12 months, 30% foudre, 70% 2 to 5 year-old barrels. Although normally overshadowed by the Rousset's superb Crozes "les Picaudieres," the 2013 Saint-Joseph is a great wine of terroir and one of the better Saint-Josephs we've tasted from this vintage. The wine shows bright aromas of red currant and blackberry/blueberry with smoke, earth, meat and violets, really lovely. The palate is well structured with firm acidity framing black fruits, licorice and mineral flavors, finishing with black cherry, citrusy acids and stone. This is a serious Saint-Joseph that will benefit from decanting, best perhaps 2020 - 2025+. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

Rousset 2014 Crozes-Hermitage Blanc (Old Vine Marsanne)

From 60 year-old vines in the hillside vineyards of "les Vedias" and "Tout" in Erome, decomposed granite with clay and gravel - great terroir producing this serious but overlooked wine from the Rousset family. The 2014 is an intense and delicious Marsanne showing subtle aromas of lemon, stone, dried pear, almond, apricot and hay - really lovely. The palate is dense, mineral and balanced by firm acidity with citrus, pear, almond and herbal flavors. Delicious in its youth, this will benefit from a few years in the cellar and should be quite interesting in 2025. Serve with roast chicken, full-flavored fish dishes, goat cheeses. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99