Cuilleron Côte-Rôtie Lieu-Dit Bonnivieres
WHY WE LOVE IT
- In the center of the Côte-Rôtie appellation, in the municipality of Ampuis, stands “Bonnivières,” a handsome east-facing hillside of mica schist which is typical in the northern part of this AOC area.
- The “Terres Sombres” cuvée was made chiefly with wines from this location.
- Organic, Eco-friendly farming. No insecticides are used.
Varietal Composition: 100% Syrah
Elaboration: The vines are planted in high-density (8,000-10,000 vines per hectare). No insecticides or pesticides are used, and treatments are few (depending on weather). A small amount of organic-only fertilizer may be applied with respect to soil and vine balance. Precise control of vigor and yields is maintained through leaf-thinning and green harvesting to promote grape maturation.
The grapes are hand-picked, then sorted, crushed and partially destemmed in the cellar. Fermentation with native yeasts is in open, temperature-controlled vats for about three weeks, with regular cap-punching and pumping-over. Malolactic-fermentation is in barriques. This wine matures in 18 months in barriques.
This wine is vinified for laying down and is slightly hard when young. It is preferable to wait 4-5 years, but it can age 15 years or more.
Tasting Notes: a complex, profound wine with a nose of dark fruits, spice, tobacco, and a faint roasted edge. Clean and pure on the palate, revealing a rich rounded style. Long, powerful finish. Silky tannins.
2019 – 95 Vinous
2020 – 92+ Jeb Dunnuck | 96 Vinous
Cuilleron Estates is a producer in the northern Rhône. The estate has been in the Cuilleron family for three generations, but it is the estate’s current owner and winemaker, Yves Cuilleron, who has expanded the size, scope, and scale of the vineyard, land holdings, and winery.