Revelatory Cote-Roties from Cedric Parpette
The story of next generation vignerons entering the family business and deciding to make wine under their own label, where previously the fruit had always been sold to other domaines, is a fairly common one in Europe. And it’s one we like because it usually means great wine appears where before there was only grapes!
Cedric Parpette has a somewhat unique take on this generational saga. He does not come from a long line of grape farmers, indeed his family is not in the wine business at all. He was for many years an auto mechanic and more of a beer and whisky guy. That changed when he married Christelle Fernandez.
Christelle’s father had acquired a small plot of Montmains in the Cote Blonde portion of Cote-Rotie in 1986 and had been selling the fruit to negociants, mostly Guigal. He added a small parcel from the La Plomb vineyard in 1996, but none of his children were interested in joining the wine growing business until Cedric came along.
It turns out that Cedric was easily bit by the Syrah bug, and in 2003 he began vinifying and bottling a small portion of the fruit under his own label. From the get go everything was doggedly old school in style. Cedric spends a lot of time in the vineyards, farming as naturally and gently as possible.
In the cellar he is as hands off as possible, realizing that he has excellent plots of Serine clone Syrah, he wants the special terroir to shine through. Everything is fermented in concrete tanks and then racked once into mostly neutral barriques to age for 12-14 months before bottling with any fining or filtration.
We recently tasted the new releases with Nadia Dmytriw, who just became Cedric’s official importer here in California. The wines were revelatory, able to combine elegance with rusticity in a way that only the best Cote-Rotie can achieve. This is not surprising, Nadia’s portfolio is one of our favorites, and she’s quite picky about the Northern Rhone (her other producer is Pierre Gonon).
Production is miniscule, less than 1000 cases total for the world, and that means just a few cases for California. I highly recommend you grab some now before the secret is out and the prices, which are still very reasonable, skyrocket.
“Opaque ruby. Lively, mineral- and smoke-accented blueberry, cherry and olive aromas pick up floral and incense accents with air. Sweet, energetic black and blue fruit and violet pastille flavors open up steadily on the back half. In a juicy, appealingly forward style, showing a vibrant mineral quality that adds cut to an impressively long, floral-driven finish.” -Josh Raynolds, Vinous
“Inky ruby. Highly perfumed dark berry, smoky mineral, violet and olive aromas show excellent clarity and take on a hint of smokiness as the wine opens up. Intense, palate-staining black currant, cherry and floral pastille flavors deepen and take on a mineral quality with air. Silky and energetic in style, finishing on a sexy floral note, with chewy, slow-building tannins and repeating florality.” -Josh Raynolds, Vinous