Domaine de Cumelle Côte-Rôtie Cuvée Nane 2018
Domaine de Cumelle is a cult winery by sister and brother team Aude Chapuis and Hervé Gibert, featuring Yves Cuilleron as the consulting enologist. Located on a tiny, vertiginous 1.5ha site in the Cumelle lieu-dit at the northern end of Côte-Rôtie, near Saint-Cyr-sur-le-Rhône. It is a single, contiguous amphitheater of south-east facing vines on a hillside with such extremity of slope (50%), that it was abandoned by past generations and returned to wild forest.
Aude and Hervé replanted the site to traditional goblet vines, with three different types of old syrah clones selected for complexity and genetic diversity, including the indigenous sérine. Viognier was also co-planted.
The project has been farmed organically since the beginning and previously the plot was forested, so the vineyard has never seen chemical treatment. They are currently in the multi-year process of obtaining organic farming certification. In the cellar, native yeasts from the vineyard are allowed to complete a native, spontaneous fermentation.
With an average production of 3,000 bottles, Domaine de Cumelle is an exceptionally limited snapshot of a place and vintage, delivering the understated elegance of owners Aude and Hervé. The resulting wine is classically balanced, with lower alcohol by volume than has become customary in Côte-Rôtie.
Vintage Notes – 2018 was an outstanding vintage in the northern Rhône Valley, producing exciting wines of exceptional structure, perfume, and depth of flavor. The vintage is fresh, aromatic, substantial, and energetic. 2018 is a marriage of the richness of 2017 to the freshness of 2016. The 2018 vintage at Domaine de Cumelle is considered to be the vintage of the decade.
Vinification – After a manual harvest, the grapes are 70% destemmed. Syrah and viognier are co-fermented by indigenous yeasts following a pre-fermentation cold soak. They go through a post-fermentation warm maceration. The wine is racked into used Tonnellerie Château d’Ampuis barrels and aged for 19 months before bottling without added sulfur.
Grapes: 90% Syrah and 10% Viognier
Vine Age: 7 years old
Farming: Practicing Organic
Vinification: Fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel
Aging: 19 months in one to three-year-old Tonnellerie Château d’Ampuis barrels