A Coming of Age in Côte Rôtie

In the Northern Rhône, 2015 will go down as one of the great vintages of our time.
John Livingstone-Learmonth compares it to 1947. Having participated in every Côte Rôtie vintage since 1961, Marcel Guigal says 2015 is "surely the wine of a lifetime ... on the level of 1929, 1947, 1961."
Young Julien Barge made the most of this great year. Just three years after succeeding his legendary father Gilles, Julien crafted wines that rival anything ever made in the long history of this Côte Rôtie dynasty.
Three of Julien’s 2015s promise to become iconic: the very rare Côte Blonde, the sublime Cuvée du Plessy and the family’s crown jewel, Côte Brune, which John Gilman says “may well end up being one of the very finest wines of the vintage.”
Back Story
Since 1929, when they became the first Côte Rôtie growers to sell domaine-bottled wine, the Barge family have been dedicated to the canon of traditionalism: long fermentations, skillful use of whole-clusters, gentle extractions and aging in largely neutral barrels, including demi-muids, Côte Rôtie’s ideal vessel.
And since 1979, they have been standard-bearers for how one makes Côte Rôties of great purity and expression from individual sites or lieux-dits.
From the beginning, the family’s crown jewel has been the Côte Brune lieu-dit, whose vines of 40 to 60 years of age are planted in the brown schist soils of Côte Brune’s steep upper slope. In 2015 only 400 cases were produced of this magical expression of the Brune vineyard's power.
Cuvée du Plessy is the family’s homage to traditionally blended Côte Rôtie, named for vineyard owner Joseph du Plessy, with whom Barge has collaborated since 1978. A marriage of fruit from the Côte Blonde, Lancement, Janet and Baleyat lieux-dits in Côte Rôtie’s historic heart, the 2015 is a perfectly balanced blend of structure and complexity.
In the 2013 vintage, Barge began making a single vineyard wine from du Plessy’s oldest Côte Blonde Sérine vines. Its steep granitic slope terroir, ancient clone and Julien’s sure touch make the 2015 the very definition of Côte Blonde perfumed depth and refinement.
With the 2015 vintage set to go into the history books as one of the greatest Côte Rôtie harvests ever, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to acquire these truly compelling 2015s. Don’t look back a year or two from now regretting that you didn’t buy when you had the chance.

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