Chapoutier Cote-Rotie 'Neve' Rouge 2017

  • Jancis Robinson - 17+/20
  • James Suckling - 94/100
  • It shows how elegance and femininity express themselves in a wine - with extreme finesse and great depth.
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Joe Czerwinski
    97 points
  • James Suckling
    94 points
  • Richard Hemming
    17 points
  • Decanter
    92 points

Editors notes

This wine comes from a hillside with a lovely
south-southeast exposure in a lieu-dit known as
Neve in the commune of Ampuis. The soil here is
composed of schist and mica-schist, with some
seams of ground soil in the mid-section of the
Harvested by hand at maturity.
The vinification takes place in rough concrete
tanks. The harvested grapes are completely
de-stemmed. Native yeasts are used for the
alcoholic fermentation. During the fermentation,
the temperature is allowed to gradually rise to 30-
32°C. The vatting period lasts from 4 to 5 weeks
with regular pumping over operations carried out
at the start of the maceration, followed by some
cap punching. The maceration is completed by
a stirring of the lees over the last 3 weeks. By
tasting the wine in the tank each day, we are able
to tailor our different operations to the wine and
determine the best running-off date.
The wines go into barrel “hot” after their
running-off and 24-48 hours sedimentation
to eliminate any remaining solid matter
and the coarsest lees. Ageing is carried out entirely
in 228-litre barrels (pièces bourguignonnes), of
which 25-30% are new. The wine is racked at the
end of the winter. Ageing can last 14-18 months
depending on the vintage and our tastings of the
Colour: very deep and black with satiny tints.
Nose: the first nose is dominated
by notes of graphite and cold smoke,
and then opens up to notes of bramble leaves and
mixed berries.
Palate: compact on entry, with chiselled
tannins and notes of black pepper
and roasting over a saline finish.
Verticality and purity are the keywords here


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Blackberry
    • Blueberry
    • Pepper
  • Palate
    • Blackberry
    • Fruit Cake
    • Tobacco

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Joe Czerwinski

    "(Wine Advocate) From a rocky, mica-schist lieu-dit that's only recently been showing up on single-vineyard wines, Chapoutier's 2017 Cote Rotie Neve is a bold, full-bodied and powerful example of the appellation. Blueberry and boysenberry fruit is couched in rich, velvety tannins, followed by a long, lingering finish. Impressive."
  • James Suckling

    "Wildly exotic spices, dark plums, orange zest, peaches and ginger. So much happening already. The palate has a very succulent, juicy and lively feel with such smoothly layered, dark and red berries and fine, white-pepper allure and a succulent, fine, assertive tannin build. Cardamom and plums to close. Try from 2024."
  • Richard Hemming

    "Biodynamic. Cask sample. Aged for 18 months in barrique and demi-muids, approximately 25% new. Black cherry and spice on the nose with very furry, brusque tannins. The structure will take a long time to soften. (RH)"
  • Decanter

    "Prettily floral, medium-bodied, fresh, very fine tannins, with a good sense of drinkability. The oak here is a little more dominant, and the tannins, though not dry, are a touch drier than M Chapoutier’s La Mordorée wine. Pretty, surprisingly structured, with a fairly long finish. This is 100% Syrah, made from 15-year-old vines, planted on a schist vineyard towards the east of the appellation. Yields of 21 hl/ha. Completely destemmed, fermented in concrete then matured for 18 months in a large wooden tank, 30% of which is new oak. Drinking Window 2020 - 2026"

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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Rhone Valley

The Rhône Valley is in the South of France and is situated in the Rhône river valley. The region has been growing wines for centuries and is generally split into two sub-regions. In the Northern Rhône, Syrah is the predominant grape variety, though it is often blended with other white varieties like Marsanne, Rousanne and Viognier, or the red grape Mourvedre. In the Southern Rhône, a wide range of white, red and rosés are produced alongside the undisputed king of the Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

The Northern Rhône is cooler than the Southern Rhône and has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winter. The appellations from North to South are Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Château-Grillet, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Cornas and Saint-Péray.

In Southern Rhône, the climate is more Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot summers. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the most famous appellation but others include Côtes du Rhône, Gigondas and Lirac. Large pebbles are used in the region, placed at the base of the vines to absorb the suns heat during the day, to keep the vines warm at night.

Châteauneuf-du-Papes are blended from the 13 permitted grape varieties, though Grenache usually dominates, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre. These wines can be supremely rich and complex and typically warrant 5-10 years in the cellar for best results.

Cote Rotie

The Rhone appellation furthest north is known for its captivating landscapes and exceptional wines, and among its renowned regions, one stands out—the picturesque Côte-Rôtie. Translating to "Roasted slope," this appellation derives its name from the region's steep slopes that face the sun, providing an ideal exposure for the vineyards. Nestled within Côte-Rôtie, two main slopes, known as the Côte Brune and Côte Blonde, showcase distinct characteristics that contribute to the diverse range of wines produced.

As their names suggest, the Côte Brune features darker soils composed of rich clay and iron. These elements impart strength and robustness to the wines cultivated in this area. The Côte Brune wines are known for their firm structure, deep flavors, and remarkable aging potential. The combination of the clay soils' ability to retain heat and the iron's influence on the grapes creates a unique and powerful expression of the terroir.

In contrast, the Côte Blonde boasts lighter soils composed of slate and limestone. This soil composition lends a delicate elegance and a softer touch to the wines produced on this slope. Wines from the Côte Blonde exhibit a graceful character with nuanced flavors, refined aromatics, and a silky texture. The slate and limestone contribute to the wine's finesse by providing excellent drainage, allowing the vines to reach a delicate balance between ripeness and acidity.

It is worth noting that Côte-Rôtie wines can either originate from a single designated slope or be a blend of both. When enjoying a bottle of Côte-Rôtie, the label will indicate whether the wine is sourced from the Côte Brune or the Côte Blonde or if it is a harmonious blend of grapes from both slopes. This labeling practice allows wine enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the distinct characteristics and nuances of each individual slope or experience the beautiful marriage of flavors achieved through skillful blending.

About the brand M.Chapoutier

Michel Chapoutier, a wine enthusiast turned producer is one of the top names in France's Rhone Valley and throughout the wine world. A self-titled 'wine-grower, wine-maker and wine lover', Chapoutier has incredible passion for each plot of land in his holdings; he converted to biodynamic farming methods in 1991 out of a respect for each site's unique characteristics.

Drawing grape sources from all areas of the Rhone Valley, Chapoutier produces a portfolio of super premium Syrah-based wines. From the vast, regional Cotes-du-Rhone, to the highly prized land of Hermitage, Chapoutier puts his stamp of quality and site expression on every wine bearing his name.

Now, after having explored global wine regions, he has set his sights on another famed Shiraz region: Australia. With a desire to meet and work with winemakers sharing the same interest, Chapoutier has created partnerships with Australian wine superstars, Ron and Elva Laughton of Jasper Hill (2002) and Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda (2007). His estate Domaine Tournon is in the Victorian Pyrenees.

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