Jerome Bressy is my kind of dude! This guy has pulled out all the stops here in the Southern Rhone towards producing the single greatest wine you’ll ever float across your palate. The rules don’t matter to him – unless they’re HIS rules.
His estate is located in Rasteau; that much we know. At roughly 15 miles NE of Chateauneuf du Pape, Rasteau gained its original AOC for fortified sweet wines back in the 1940s. The dry reds in those days – built on a similar blend as found in neighboring Chateauneuf – were designated as Cotes du Rhone Villages. But the growth of high quality producers ushered in a new status for the wines by the 1990s.
By 1996, the village name – Rasteau – was allowed as an addendum; Cotes-du-Rhone-Village-Rasteau was born. This was about the time Jerome Bressy arrived and took over at Gourt de Mautens. He converted to organics; painstakingly, passionately tending parcels of 90 year old vines. Yields were already low, but under his watch they plummeted: Bressy’s yields produce a mere barrel per acre!
And here’s the final chapter in the Rasteau story. With Bressy now in full control – mastering Gourt de Mautens’ terroir, Cepage, yields and vinification – Rasteau was formally elevated to full appellation status in 2010 (retroactive to 2009). The catch? All producers must adhere to the “Rasteau recipe”.
Bressy calls faute. His will be labeled “IGP Vaucluse” henceforth.
Love this guy!
Do what you can to locate this vintage; it’s SO worth the hunt. But if it’s too difficult to track down, his subsequent vintages (labeled Vaucluse, just as heady) will also reward (the 2012, for example, is another 95 pointer).
2009 Gourt de Mautens Rasteau
Also incredible, the 2009 Rasteau has a similar, decadent feel in its black raspberry, licorice, smoked earth, chocolate and saddle leather. A blend of 70% Grenache and 30% other permitted varieties, aged in a combination of demi-muid, foudre and concrete tank, it has full-bodied power, massive, yet sweet tannin and blockbuster levels of depth and richness. Drink it anytime over the coming decade or more.
96 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate