The Côte-Rôties and Condrieus of Jean-Michel Gerin are known even in Japan, but the Ampuis native has stayed humble. Wine is akin to many human talents: “Simplicity is the key”, said Richie Blackmore, Deep Purple’s fiery guitarist. Jean-Michel has, it must be said, done much for his vines.
In the ‘80s, this sloped terroir needed some hard lovin’ to “do the rest”: clear the land, rebuild the stone terrace-retaining walls, respectfully tend them by hand, and then reflect on and understand – alongside other trailblazers – the subtleties of Syrah and Viognier, vintage by vintage, plot by plot.
CÔTE RÔTIE AOC: 12.5 ha, planting density 10,000 vines/ha on micaceous schists; 9 ha for Cuvée Champin Le Seigneur; 1.3 ha at lieu-dit Les Grandes-Places; 0.4 ha at lieu-dit La Landonne; 1.8 ha at lieu-dit La Viallière.
CONDRIEU AOC: 2 ha for Cuvée La Loye, planting density 10,000 vines/ha on granite. 0.5 ha at lieu-dit Les Eguets.
CÔTE RÔTIE: grapes hand-picked in small 25 kg crates, destemmed. Fermented and macerated in temperature-controlled vats for 4-5 weeks. Malolactic fermented in barrels, then aged for 20 months in barrels.
CONDRIEU: grapes hand-picked and pneumatically pressed. Fermented in stainless steel tanks and/or oak barrels for 12 months.