Côte Rôtie Bassenon
Domaine Yves Cuilleron
Cave Cuilleron is, above all, a family estate. A passion for wine has been in their genes for three generations.
For decades, the domaine has undertaken traditional, straightforward vinification. Cuilleron’s main ingredients? Hand picking of grapes, meticulous sorting in situ, alcoholic fermentation using only wild yeasts, and ageing in oak.
The business may be growing, but remains deeply attached to the traditional principles of cap-punching and open-vat pumpovers. They use no oenological products, and technology is kept to the bare minimum.
Yves articulates his vision of the terroir through the wines he makes. From plot to bottle, many decisions are required to express this vision and arrive at wines that satisfy his expectations. A Cuilleron wine bears the imprint of its terroir: it has an original character. Although a large vat room has been built, we have kept many small vats used for single-plot vinification. Although Yves seeks an overarching harmony in the range, the Cuilleron touch lends each wine its own style. They do not focus on a single cuvée and establish a hierarchy; instead, each product is bespoke – the word that best defines us.
1.5 ha of south-facing terraced vines on Coteau de Semons, in Tupin-Semons commune. “Bassenon” is not the district but the stream at the foot of the hill.
Soils: granite and gneiss, typical of the south of this AOC area.
Varieties planted: 90% Syrah, 10% Viognier.
High-density planting (8,000-10,000 vines per hectare). No insecticides few treatments (depending on weather), small amount of organic-only fertiliser, with respect of soil and vine balance. Vigour and yield control, leaf-thinning and green harvesting to promote grape maturation.
Vinification: the grapes are picked by hand; and then sorted, crushed and partially destemmed in the cellar. Open, temperature-controlled vatting for about 3 weeks, with regular cap-punching and pumping-over. Malolactic-fermented in barriques with native yeasts.
Maturation: 18 months in barriques.
Alcohol content: 12.5%vol
An elegant bouquet that mixes Syrah’s red berry fruits with Viognier’s floral character (violets). Elegant, fresh and airy on the palate. Subtle yet prominent tannins.
Ageing: drink for the primary aromas during the first 5 years, or for the secondary aromas up to 10 years and more.
Food match: meat with a delicate yet characterful texture (e.g. roast quail with spice bread and prunes).
PRESS AND REVIEWS
93 Points Vinous
"Glass-staining ruby. Intensely perfumed aromas of ripe dark fruits, potpourri and olive; a zesty mineral nuance adds vivacity. Deeply concentrated blueberry, spice cake and floral pastille flavors take on suggestions of cola and candied licorice on the back half. Finishes on a suave note of candied flowers, delivering mounting tannins and superb energy and focus."