Domaine André Francois – www.coterotie-andrefrancois.com
This area of 4ha was established in the late 1980s and produces wines from the Côte Rotie whose Syrah expression is enhanced by an elegant and non-intrusive vinification and ageing. The Roziers and more recently the Rochins are two localities with limited production but with enormous potential.
Domaine Jean Michel Gerin – www.domaine-gerin.fr
The family domain located in Ampuis was founded in the early ’80s by Jean Michel Gerin’s grand-father and father. The domain started to bottle their own production later in that decade but it was Jean Michel’s drive and enthusiasm for the Côte Rotie appellation that got this domain well established on the wine world map. The wines once known to reflect Jean-Michel’s keeness for new oak (as did at the time the whole of the appellation) are nowadays more subtle -the oak is still used but exhibiting greater integration- and display a refined balance between the power of the northern rhone Syrah and the quintessential complex purity of the appelation. The wines are 100% Syrah (bar the Champine that has a bit of Viognier) and fully destemmed. They are decidedly assertive wines that nicely strike a balance between showing the attributes of their respective lieux-dits and great personality. Wines that require uncompromising attention. The domain in the last few years extended their offering with great gusto to Saint Joseph and serious Vin de France.
Domaine Pierre Gonon – Organic
One of the emblematic domains of the appellation. Founded in 1956 by Pierre Gonon Sr., the exploitation was taken over in 1989 by the sons Pierre and Jean and the area of 6ha to support and establish the quality and reputation of the wines. The vines are meticulously worked and the wines are a pure expression of what the appellation can express better.
Domaine Christian Rouchier – Organic– www.domaine-rouchier.e-monsite.com
A recent domain but with old parcels of vines right in the heart of Saint Jean De Muzols. Christian decided to leave his day job to work on the vineyards of the family estate (from his wife’s side) to produce artisan wines; Le Luc and La Chave. Christian wines are increasingly being recognised with a growing following (as much as his tiny production can allow, afterwards this is a 1,5ha domain !) producing wines with minimal use of sulphites yet without compromising on the purity and expressiveness of his Syrah.
Domaine Les Grands Vignes – Nicolas Badel – Organic conversion
The domain spreads over 7 hectares. Nicolas Badel works alone and tirelessly his 7 ha domain with the intent of making the finest wines possible from his terroir. His labels feature a reproduction of the Roman coins from 75 BC that were found in the Intuition vineyard during planting.
Nicolas is a engineer but decided to dedicate his life to vines and wines and starting from scratch in 1999 and since has established himself as as key producer in the region.
The winery is located near Vernosc-lès-Annonay, high above the Rhône tributary Cance. He made his reputation with Intuition a testimony to his commitment to expressing the best of his vines
Domaine Franck Balthazar – Organic
Franck is probably one of the most popular estates in the appellation. The quality of the wines is a testament to the meticulous work of this perfectionist winemaker. The area of less than 4ha has become the essential address.
Domaine Emmanuel Darnaud – www.domainedarnaud.com
The story begins in 2001 with 1.50 hectares of vines rented in the Crozes-Hermitage appellation located south of Tain l’Hermitage. The estate grows each year to today reach 15 hectares in the municipalities of La Roche de Glun, Pont de l’Isère and Mercurol (including 0.25 hectares in Crozes-Hermitage Blanc). Emmanuel has in recent years been able to access quality vines in Saint Joseph and not the least since they belonged to his father-in-law Bernard Faurie. High quality Saint-Josephs to complete a large-scale range.