Joli Vin imports
Cédric Parpette - Northern Rhône / Côte Rôtie
Cédric Parpette wasn’t born into a winemaking family. His father-in-law René Fernandez purchased 2.5 hectares of abandoned vineyard in 1986 and spent several years single-handedly clearing and replanting the southeast facing slope named after the stream that cuts the hillside and gives this vineyard its enviable southern exposure, Montmain. The vineyard is large, flat-paneled precipitous slope, angled at 35° to 40° in the direction of the morning and midday sun. If there is any topsoil to speak of, it is not easily witnessed. In 1996, Fernandez added a parcel in the nearby lieu-dit of Le Plomb bringing the total domaine to its current surface area of 3.5 hectares.
To those unfamiliar with the subtleties within the appellation, this is the Côte Brune, the northern half of the Côte Rôtie appellation. The mother rock is decomposing schist rock with bits of mica within, subtly different than the granite/quartz blend that one finds in the Côte Blonde, or the southern half of the appellation. It's a loose scree without much in the way of clay or topsoil to hold it all in place. The thought of working these vines, in the summer sun, or equally so in a light drizzle, slick rock sliding underfoot with nothing to hold onto, is enough to make one relieved and grateful at the same time that someone else is content to do the work. Although, Cédric is quick to point out that the steep slope makes working the vineyard that much easier as it limits the constant bending over which is obligatory on flatland vineyards. God bless him. The geological make-up in this sector gives wines with an impressive structure, intense, heady profile of dark fruits and a long life.
For the first ten years, Fernandez sold all his fruit off to the négoce trade and when Cédric took over the reins in 2003 he held back a small amount of the best fruit from the Montmain parcel and produced and bottled the first wine under his own label. In each successive year, more fruit has been held back as more clients have found their way to the cellar door and fewer baskets of fruit go off to Guigal. The fruit is de-stemmed 100%, fermented in concrete tanks with remontage and pigeage as needed, transferred to 228 liter barrels of varying age and bottled without fining or filtration after twelve to fourteen months of aging. Cédric's wines are all about dark fruit expression, plush texture and silky tannin. Côte Rôtie you can drink.
MontmainMontmain is all about dark plummy fruit, in addition to attractive notes of raspberries, fruitcake, spice, and underbrush of forest floor.