- Domaine Michel and Stéphane Ogier
- Côte Rôtie
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Domaine Michel and Stéphane Ogier
Like many people of the region, the Ogier family were polycultural farmers for generations. Included in their repertoire were exceptional grapes planted on the steep slopes of Côte Rôtie. For many years, they sold off their production to local winemakers until the day that Michel Ogier decided to eliminate the other crops in order to make and bottle his own wine. Now 20 years later, he has established a reputation that rivals even the grandest, most established producers in the region. His son, Stéphane, began taking over winemaking responsibilities from his father in the late 1990s after finishing oenology school in Burgundy. Following his father's philosophy, he has relentlesslytaken great care to produce the best wines possible. This is apparent from a quick domaine visit. Whether one passes through his established barrel ageing room or steps into his new state-of-the-art barrel room, glacial temperatures are high on his priority list. The ambiance is cool, calm and collected, just like his wines.
Only a red wine appellation, Côte Rôtie is the most northern of all Rhône appellations and is produced mostly from Syrah, although Viognier may contribute up to 20% of the blend. Its terroir is divided into two categories. Côte Brune's soil is comprised of iron-entrenched granite giving thesoil a rich red-brown colour. As a result, it creates wine of notable power and concentration that usually needs time in the cellar to soften and develop. Heading south down the slope towards Condrieu, one encounters Côte Blonde, an area comprised of decomposed schist and mica that is lighter in colour and tends to produce elegantly styled wine for earlier consumption (most of the area's Viognier is grown here). Many traditional producers of Côte Rôtie feel that their best wines are a blend of the two.