Jean-Michel Gerin Côte-Rôtie "Les Grandes Places" 2017
Now a trip back to our "roots" - Syrah, the Northern Rhone, and single vineyard bottlings. Cote Rotie is undeniable that the Northern Rhone is the world's benchmark for Syrah, showing an aromatic extravagance and intensity not found in the other famous villages of the Northern Rhone.
In 1983, Jean-Michel Gerin inherited vineyards from his family. Instead of sending the fruit to the local co-op, he began making his own wine. In 1988, he purchased 3.5 acres in the Les Grand Places vineyard, lying at the northern boundary of the Cote Rotie appellation. This area, along with adjacent vineyards La Valliere, which Gerin also has a plot, and Le Fourvier, make some of the benchmark wines of the area, with a freshness and perfume not found as one travels further south.
Gerin's holding at Les Grand Places is his oldest vineyard, with a portion planted by his grandfather in 1924. Winemaking at the domain is a blend of traditional and modern. While he picks on the early side, this is a rich wine bursting with pepper, blueberry, and blackberry. Jean-Michel isn't afraid of new oak, using up to 30% new in some years. The Les Grand Places is the best wine of the domain, overshadowing even their La Landonne offering. A colossal feat indeed!
With only 400 cases made, the Gerin Côte-Rôtie "Les Grandes Places" is extremely difficult Cote Rotie to find. It is a world-class benchmark Syrah that will get better for the next 10+ years.
Jeb Dunnuck "Brilliant violet. Expressive spice- and mineral-tinged cherry cola cassis and candied violet scents along with hints of vanilla and olive. Juicy and seamless on the palate offering appealingly sweet black and blue fruit mocha spicecake and floral pastille flavors supported by a core of juicy acidity. Supple fine-grained tannins add shape to an impressively long smoky finish that features lingering blue fruit and spice notes. (Drink between 2025-2035)" 95 Points