The wines from Jean-Michel Stephan are compelling, pure, and classic examples of Cote-Rotie, where he works a small 2 hectares of vines with his son. With deep family roots as farmers, this father and son duo is greatly inspired by the work of Jean Chauvet from Beaujolais, sticking to a philosophy of never interfering with their wines. This has a big CellarTracker Community Score of 95.3, and we have just a few cases due to arrive in May.
Our top pick underground producer in Cote-Rotie, these are wines that fully embrace the traditional side of the appellation yet with a slight twist and are some of the most impressive small production wines to come out of the region. Jean-Michel has a hands-off approach in the cellar with his old vine parcels bringing him to the forefront of the wine movement in Cote-Rotie, and though he's been making wines for quite a while, they have only just begun to catch on within the last five years. An address we were able to taste at a few years back during a very snowy January, the wines were sensational, leaving a lasting impression. We have said it before, Jean-Michel is to Cote-Rotie what Thierry Allemand is to Cornas working organically, with minimal sulfur. Inspired by Beaujolais's natural winemakers, Jean-Michel uses carbonic and semi-carbonic macerations for some of his wines, and the Les Binardes is one of those. Les Binardes is sourced from a selection of Syrah from the lower part of Tupin and Verenay vineyards with 10% Viognier planted from a 1986 massale selection and fermented in stainless steel vats before aging in older 228-liter oak casks. Due to the carbonic maceration, the wine has a very dense and succulent fruit with floral and mineral complexity typical of Cote-Rotie, including elegance and depth that the 2018s didn't have. Les Binardes is one of the wines of the vintage and isn't a bottle that will need years to come around due to the style it's made in, but with that said, it still has sneaky longevity in the cellar. This is a rare wine and a fantastic effort in the 2019 vintage, and we are happy to offer a few cases at this low rate.