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Made by Chateauneuf experts Maison Brotte, this Crozes Hermitage is a delicious example of what the Rhône Valley can produce at a relatively inexpensive price. It comes from a prestigous cru in the northern Rhône which puts the spotlight on Syrah. Elegant, balanced and easy to drink. It earned a Bronze medal at the 2016 International Wine Challenge. ‘La Rollande’ is a treat!
Blackcurrant and violet aromas with ‘oaky’ and spicy notes of white pepper, liquorice and vanilla.
Rich with soft tannins and a silky, smooth finish.
Pictures from left to right: (1) The Brotte Family: Laurent, Benoît, Christine, Jean-Pierre (Laurent’s father), Thibault. (2) The ‘Domaine Barville’ estate.
Maison Brotte, an independent family business, -now in its third generation- has always been at the forefront of innovation. The founder, Charles Brotte, was one of the first to begin estate bottling in Châteauneuf du Pape in 1931. In 1954 he released his famous non-vintage (and weird bottle-shaped) cuvée ‘La Fiole du Pape’. The estate has always enjoyed a reputation for great quality and, under the guidance of Charles’ grandson Laurent, the Maison “has improved dramatically” (said by Robert Parker).
Today Brotte owns four estates throughout the Rhone Valley: Domaine Barville in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Chateau de Bord, Domaine Grosset in Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne and Domaine de l’Aube. All of these are sustainably farmed.
Style: Full bodied, rich red
Country of Origin: France
Appellation: AOP Crozes Hermitage
Grape: 100% Syrah
Bottle size: 0,75L
Closure: Natural cork
Drink by: 2022
Rhône | France
The Rhône Valley is one of the most historic and prolific wine regions in France. As a whole, it runs the course of the Rhône River from just south of the Beaujolais region in Burgundy all the way down to just north of the Mediterranean Sea, where it intersects with the regions of Provence to the southeast and Languedoc to the southwest.
Although the Rhône is considered one wine region, it can effectively be split into two distinct parts based on climate and grape varieties used. The steep slopes of the northern Rhône Valley account for just 5 percent of the region’s total wine production, while the southern Rhône Valley produces the vast majority.
The Northern Rhône Valley is dwarfed by its neighbor to the south in terms of sheer size of production. Defined growing areas are typically much smaller in the north, and a substantial number of the region’s better vineyards are planted on steep, terraced granite hillsides rising sharply from the river valley below. While the Southern Rhône Valley enjoys a fully Mediterranean climate, the Northern Rhône Valley experiences a more continental climate marked by drastic seasonal changes and a shorter growing season. Nonetheless, it still bears a warmer climate than Bordeaux or Burgundy, and the region’s winegrowers can successfully cultivate the indigenous Syrah grape. All Northern Rhône reds are produced from Syrah; however, some appellations allow a small percentage of white grapes to be included in the cuvée.
As the Rhône river passes Montélimar, the valley flattens and widens. The Southern Rhône Valley is windswept, arid, and warm; it is covered with large swaths of vineyard and garrigue; a Mediterranean scrub of lavender, rosemary, thyme, and other shrubbery. The Southern Rhône Valley produces nearly 95% of the entire region’s wines, and nearly all of it is red. Blends are common, and Grenache is usually the dominant component. Basic examples of the style are produced as Côtes du Rhône AOC, the region’s largest appellation.
The one thing that the north and south ends of the Rhône do share is le mistral, the legendary wind that blows in the summer and winter. While the mistral may challenge the mental stability of the region’s winemakers, it’s been a boon to them as well; it brings (mostly) sunshine and helps keep the vines free of disease.