2019 La Roche Buissière 'Petit Jo'
Region: Vaison-La-Romaine < Côtes du Rhône <France
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah
Vineyard/Cellar stats: 4 hectare vineyard site, certified organic and biodynamic; 25 year old vines. Harvest is done by hand, 15 day spontaneous fermentation in concrete tanks with indigenous yeasts. Aging 6-8 months in concrete tanks with no fining or filtration. 10-15 mg/L SO2; 13.5% ABV
Winemaker: Antoine and Laurence Joly
3rd Gen vigneron Antoine Joly took over his family's estate in 1999 from dad Pierre, who is regarded as a pioneer of organic viticulture in the Rhône, with his vineyards certified since the 1980's. They're in the Côtes du Rhône in the southern Rhône Valley, which differs dramatically from the Northern Rhone, both in culture and wine production. The wines of the south are, as you might expect, more driven by the Mediterranean climate of the area. While the north is the land of mostly mono-varietal Syrah wines, Grenache is the king of the south. With the addition of a variety of other native grapes, these wines tend to be fuller and richer in style. Most of the Grenache blends of the south are a direct representation of the hot climate and abundant sunshine.
Antoine has a very different vision for this area. His goal is to try to find elegance and brightness in his wines, with a fresh and bright style that sets his estate apart. How, you might ask, are the Jolys able to achieve such a style when heat is a major factor in the area? The answer is simple, really: they work hard to manage the hand nature has dealt them, with a key component being harvesting at just the right time, often way earlier than their neighbors, in order to achieve the desired balance of sugars and acid. Which is why 'Little Jo' here is a super fresh, almost glou glou red, juicy and joyful with fresh and crunchy cherry, hints of peach and a subtle base tone of blackberry, all balanced with savory, herbal underpinnings. Rhône lovers, meet your new favorite, everyday drinker!