Patrick Jasmin – Côte Rôtie Greatness

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I still remember the first time I had a Jasmin. It was the 1976 Côte Rôtie and it was just about to hit the 20th birthday. A gorgeous wine and a completely new experience back then. 2013 and I’m visiting Ampuis. On the to do-list; talk with Patrick Jasmin who today runs the show.

Domaine Jasmin has an unique style of Côte Rôtie. Some claim it’s due to the fact their vineyards are planted with the Sérine grape and not Syrah. Sérine, some say it’s a Syrah clone, others that they are related and that Sérine was the first grape cultivated on the slopes of the Côte Rôtie.

My French sucks to be honest. Talk slowly and I will understand. Talk dialect or quickly and you lost me at oui. I’m asking Patrick about the Sérine vs Syrah when we meet. He’s mentioning it in terms of a clone – or rather a parent to Syrah – and as a very small grape, not bigger than the smaller black olive versions. It’s very aromatic and adds a dimension to the blend between Syrah (or Sérine) and Viognier.

Today few grow Sérine as it’s quite prone to diseases and difficult to cultivate. Besides Patrick Jasmin, Jean Michel Stephan also cultivates Sérine with great results (post coming up).

I love winemakers who are filled with joy. Laughing, sharing and showing an obvious passion for what they’re doing. Patrick surely belongs to that group. We’re talking about the 2010 Côte Rôtie he’s pouring me. A beautiful wine with seductive aromatics; violets, cured meat, red sour cherries mixed with blackcurrants. Herbs. No doubt this is northern Rhône but with age they develop a character which easily brings you up north, to Bourgogne.The palate is acidity driven with the blood feeling; you know, when you’ve bit your tongue. Smoke and blackcurrants. Black olives. Restrained. Lovely harmony in a less concentrated style. Long, wet rocks driven finish.

Perhaps not a wine for the untrained palate. Or? Patrick is co-fermenting the Sérine with Viognier, just as the law requires him to do. Sérine enhances the floral and aromatic feel and the structure is less tannic than most Côte Rôtie consumers are used to. Although defined as a traditionalist, whatever that means nowadays, Patrick uses a fifth new oak in every vintage. Otherwise little has changed since he took over from his father, the legendary Robert Jasmin. I can’t help but to think though that Patrick’s style shows a purity even more grand than his father’s wines which I tasted a few of.

There’s not many of the Côte Rôte bottle, around 1,000+ cases a year. The wine spends up to two years in used oak, except the fifth new casks, but in 2010 the time was lowered with a few months. Patrick Jasmin is pure handicraft and at ridiculously low prices. Buy it!

The Virtuoso says:

 

 

To find the 2010 Côte Rôtie from Patrick Jasmin, use the wine-searcher box in the top right corner of the page.

NB. 12.5% alcohol in the 2010. God. I love it!

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