Domaine Joseph Roty is one of the great houses of Gevrey Chambertin. Operated by the Roty family since 1710, with a tenure of this length, they have achieved greatness working with true old vines. All of Roty's wines come from 60-plus-year-old vines. Their most famous site, a section of Charmes Chambertin, was grafted in 1881. This ancient vineyard was among the first to be grafted after phylloxera wiped out half of France's vines. The cuvée is aptly labeled "Très Vieilles Vignes," or very old vines.
Stylistically, these wines hold nothing back, with concentration and intensity being the name of the game. 100% destemmed fruit undergoes a three-week fermentation at cool temperatures, followed by time in oak (50-100% new) before bottling without fining or filtration. Roty's masterful techniques and careful barrel selection yield red Burgundy with a tight coil of Gevrey's earthy minerality and a stylistic flair melding black fruits with black truffle.
Savary's old-vine bottling captures everything I love about Chablis: Crushed oyster shell, cool-fruited citrus, green apple, etc. This old-vine cuvée from Chablis's famed Kimmeridgian slopes is a great value wine to go deep on.
Much of Chablis is harvested too early, with many vignerons resting their laurels on the iconic appellation printed on the label. Savary is a prime example of what the region can do at its very best, pushing ripeness in this frigid climate to the maximum while preserving tension. For the Vielles Vignes cuvéee, fermentation occurs in 20% neutral wood and 80% stainless steel. It then ages in neutral demi-muid barrels.
Olivier Savary follows a long history of vignerons, but due to challenging vintages, his parents chose not to continue the family domaine. Olivier had to start over when he finished enology school in Dijon. Since 1984, he and his wife, Francine, slowly built what was once lost. A serendipitous introduction to importer Kermit Lynch by François Raveneau brought these wines to the States.
Death, taxes, & Faury's Saint Joseph Vieilles Vignes. These are the guarantees in life! For years, I've made it no secret that Faury's Saint Joseph Vieilles Vignes is a particular bottle from the Northern Rhone that demands everyone's first look.
Faury produces the greatest value Syrah from these 1937-planted vines. After a recommended decanting, the wine reveals new layers, and explosive Syrah notes jump out of the glass: Olive tapenade, smoke, black pepper, and violets meet tell-tale blackberry fruit. While other Saint Joseph champions often tip over $100 per bottle, Faury's cuvée remains half the price!
Philippe Faury first took control of the domaine in 1979, when peach and cherry production was more common from these vignerons. That year marked a shift toward a newfound vineyard focus at the estate. They purchased parcels on the steeply terraced granite vineyards of Côte Rôtie, Saint Joseph, and Condrieu. Today, Philippe works alongside his son Lionel who took the reigns in 2006.