Extreme year, extreme Wine? Wrong ! Well, not ineluctably true. Here, the Old Vines are, once again, in the spotlight, and very particularly in this Appellation. No imbalance, no ostentatious power, but crispness and drinkability. Like thumbing one’s nose at preconceived ideas !
The vintage

If we look at the half empty glass - or tank -, frustration, and even sadness, will overwhelm us : historically small yields in France. The lowest of the post-war years. Cellars are empty. Clearly, one has to state that climate hazards, methodically, worked against us this year, in a succession of definitely adverse events : an abnormally cool spring caused frost, then grape shatter, on all of Rhone cépages, and, more particularly, Grenache. This cruel Spring followed up on a dauntingly dry summer… In the end, the yields in juice are tragically affected. The Wine grower’s job becomes tightrope walker’s job… without a net. These realities being called to mind, if we now look at the half full glass - and it is our nature to be optimistic -, the words which will come to me are relief, and even… enthusiasm ! These very challenging conditions indeed gave birth to first juices of so brilliant a Quality as they do better than just console us : they succeed in enticing, the Vignerons and us… !
The vines had naturally little load : they reacted magnificently to the extreme conditions of the year. The plant was able to bring its fruit to maturity, without big constraint, in an optimal way. The Wines promise to be splendidly well-balanced !
Year climatically unbalanced, but Cuvées showing balance… the Bourgogne way ! This, by the grace of Old Grenache, which brought to the highest level the singular personality of the real Rhone Wine. Wines are scented, refined...

Nature des sols

Limestone-clay slopes and blue clay.

Maturing

10 months in one vintage old barrels. Allier and Tronçais. Then 8 months in foudre.

Vinification

1/3 non destemmed.

Serving

14°C
Decant an hour before tasting.

Tasting notes

Attractive elegance of this Wine, despite of a power which still remains a trifle ostentatious. The Cuvée will benefit from the élevage… Longer than usual élevage - the Wine deserves it - so as to gain even more finesse.

Alcohol content

14,5%

Mise en bouteille

Without fining and filtration.

Cépages

Grenache : 70 %
Syrah : 20 %
Mourvèdre : 10 %

Guide Bettane et Desseauve des vins de France , 17/20 , 2019-08-31

Deep purplish crimson. Open and rich and spicy with a hint of meatiness. Prunes and lots of fruit – grunt and appeal. Tannins well hidden under the fruit so it could be drunk quite soon but will probably repay keeping.

Jancis Robinson , 17/20 , 2018-10-22

The inky colored 2017 Rasteau Vieilles Vignes (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre) should be outstanding. Classic notes of ripe black cherries, graphite, and scorched earth all flow to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure, and silky 2017 that has more elegance and purity than most Rasteau out there.

Jeb Dunnuck , 90-92/100 , 2018-08-28