Domaine Bott Côte-Rôtie 2018
Northern Rhône, France
It is a rare thing to find a young domaine that has recently planted its own vineyards in the prestigious appellations of the Northern Rhône. Graeme & Julie Bott are creating something special here. Winemaker Graeme is from Auckland and after winemaking jobs in Hawkes Bay and Waiheke he came to France to discover Syrah in its finest terroir, becoming winemaker at Stéphane Ogier for eight years.
It was here he met Julie, the winery’s sales manager and a Northern Rhône native. Their first three vintages were made in their tiny garage, but they now have a cellar in Ampuis and their own vineyards in the schist and granite terroirs of Condrieu, Côte-Rotie, St-Joseph and Seyssuel.
Their Côte-Rôtie evokes the finest qualities of reds from this prestigious Northern Rhône appellation. The "roasted slope" is so-called because of the intense sunlight that rains down on the vines trained to the vertiginous hillside above the Rhône. Here the Syrah (sometimes, though not here, co-fermented with white grape Viognier) takes on a unique character, marrying red and black fruits with smoky, gamey notes and elevated floral aromas (especially when Viognier is present).
Graeme & Julie's is magnificent. Coming from schist and granite soils, it spends 20 months in French oak barrels. A wine to savour and enjoy for many years to come.