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Domaine Xavier Gérard, Côte-RôtieNorthern Rhône, France 2019 (750mL)

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Domaine Xavier Gérard, Côte-Rôtie Northern Rhône, France 2019 (750mL)

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Although Xavier Gérard’s magical ability to turn Côte-Rôtie granite into Syrah gold has stunned us for many years now, his 2019 evoked a euphoric response because it’s the greatest vintage we’ve ever tasted—by far. In other words, for those keen on owning a wine collection based on intrinsic quality and hedonistic pleasure, Gérard’s current release is a must-have collectible! 


This limited-production, long-aged Syrah is a tour de force of genuine polish, power, and glorious authenticity, priced leagues below window-shop labels like Jamet, Rostaing, and Guigal’s “La Las.” Want to enjoy a bottle now? Sure thing: Decant it a good 90 minutes before serving, and it’ll unleash a brilliant explosion of vivid liqueurs, perfumed violet, smoke, and pulverized minerals. Still, you mustn’t forget that its remarkable range of scents and flavors has yet to be fully realized. The “golden age” of drinking for this impeccable, vigorous, and deeply luxurious 2019 Côte-Rôtie will start around 2024 and will keep thriving for many years (perhaps decades) to come!

BONUS: For those who are quick enough, we were allocated six (!) bottles of Xavier’s powerful, single-parcel cuvée from “Le Mollard.” Secure one of them right here



I’ll never forget my visit to Domaine Xavier Gérard. We were in the midst of winding up a precipitous road on the slopes of Condrieu when our app told us we had arrived. It was wrong. Instead, we were at a fork: the “main” road kept winding up to our left and a narrower, wooded dirt path slipped along the hillside to our right. We chose the precarious route, and after about 30 seconds of jerking across rocky terrain, we realized our rental car was not cut out for this—especially after rounding a bend and seeing a near-vertical slope in front of us. We floored it, gaining just enough momentum to crest the hill before our tires spun out. We then came into a small clearing and there it was: A quaint homestead with Xavier out front looking bewildered: “You came up that way? Nobody comes up that way! Next time use the road,” he grinned. We then toured the surrounding vineyard and tasted through each barrel in his garage-turned-cellar, and we knew: This one-man show was the next top talent of Côte-Rôtie.


Xavier Gérard is a young gun who farms about three hectares of Côte-Rôtie vines by hand (as if there was any other way) and vinifies wines in the most traditional manner possible. He took over the operation from his parents, from whom he learned his craft, and completed his first “solo” vintage in 2014. Xavier is built like a football player, no doubt thanks to the dizzyingly steep inclines of his vineyards and the back-breaking labor involved, which is largely conducted by him and him alone. 


This is a soulful, robust, and lavishly powerful Syrah that perfectly captures what Côte-Rôtie is all about—given the wine’s premium vineyard sources, this should come as no surprise. The majority of the blend comes from the granitic lieu-dit of “Mollard,” with the remainder hails from lieux-dits “Fongeant,” “Viallière,” and “La Landonne.” In the stellar 2019 vintage, 50% of the grapes clusters were left intact, and the Syrah co-fermented with a splash of Viognier on ambient yeasts. Aging occurred in 600- and 228-liter barrels (a small percentage was new) for a whopping 24 months before bottling without fining or filtration. 


The 2019, again, what we believe to be Xavier’s greatest effort to date, is a wine of extraordinary balance, freshness, density, and perfume. Bestowed with a vintage that brought powerful concentration, he decided to increase his percentage of whole-cluster inclusion and it shows in a Bordeaux stem. This unleashes a fusillade of lush black cherry, framboise liqueur, boysenberry, and blue fruit followed by another volley of smoke, crushed black stone, candied violet, charred rose, baking spice, cardamom, and cracked pepper. The palate is robust and full-bodied but the soft, fine-grained tannins allow each layer to glide into an ultra-savory, dark-berried finish. If you can, enjoy your bottle over the course of 2-3 days.




Domaine Xavier Gérard, Côte-Rôtie Northern Rhône, France 2019 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionNorthern Rhône
  • Sub-RegionCôte-Rôtie
  • SoilGranite
  • FarmingPracticing Organic
  • BlendSyrah 96%, Viognier 4%
  • Alcohol14.5%
  • Oak600L & 228L French Barrels, 20% New
  • Service Temp.60-65° F
  • GlasswareBordeaux Stems
  • DrinkNow-2034+
  • Decanting90 Minutes
  • PairingLamb Tagine

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionNorthern Rhône
  • Sub-RegionCôte-Rôtie
  • SoilGranite
  • FarmingPracticing Organic
  • BlendSyrah 96%, Viognier 4%
  • Alcohol14.5%
  • Oak600L & 228L French Barrels, 20% New
  • Temp.Serve at 60-65° F
  • GlasswareBordeaux Stems
  • DrinkingNow-2034+
  • Decanting90 Minutes
  • PairingLamb Tagine