Marsannay is the only village of the Cote d’Or proper which produces Rosé, much of it rather dull. But Roty and a few hardy colleagues show what can be achieved when yields are kept low and the grapes are carefully vinified. Think ripe strawberry fruit with a cool, limestone infused grip and a little earthy complexity. Particularly good with Charcuterie.
About the Domaine
Robert has shipped every vintage of Roty since the 1985 and still has a few bottles in the cellar. A recent Champ Chenys 1985 was magnificent – earthy, gamey and complex yet still retaining sweet cherry fruit.
Domaine Joseph Roty boasts one of the largest concentrations of old vines in Burgundy, averaging about 65 years. The domaine is fanatical about old vines, they have some of the oldest in France, the living ambassadors of the affinity the Roty’s so obviously feel for their land. Coupled with late picking, which further concentrates yields and with fermentation below 30 degrees, and a cuvaison of three weeks, the structure and complexity is consequentially remarkable and the winemaking uncompromising in achieving this. With a little age these wines develop wonderful aromatics with the characteristic Pinot Noir flavours of black cherry and stone fruit. The old vine fruit contributes the length of flavour and great complexity. Roty’s Charmes Chambertin Cuvée Trѐs Vieilles Vignes is largely harvested from vines of over 120 years.
One of the great domaines of Gevrey. The loss of Joseph’s son Phillipe must have been hard, but his brother Pierre-Jean has taken up the reins and seems to intent on following the families somewhat idiosyncratic, uncompromising path. “Nothing changes” as Madame Roty told us on our last visit. These are not fashion-conscious wines, everything is destemmed, new oak is relatively high, around 50% on the village wines, 60-70% on the Lieux-Dit and 100% on the Grand Cru. They are wines made to age, there is little point opening them young. But when they reach maturity, they can flower into some of the most complex and spellbinding wines I have encountered. A recent bottle of the Marsannay Village 1990 (!) was out of this world, blind I was convinced it was from a much more ‘serious’ appellation. Endlessly complex and perfumed it was a wonderful expression of aged Burgundy.