Since 1994, Stéphane Otheguy has leased 1.5 hectares of vineyards from Vincent Gasse that are divided between the three northern Rhône appellations of Côte Rôtie , Condrieu and Saint Joseph. Stéphane left a career in education to study eonology at Macon after which he began working for Vincent Gasse. He spent seven years with Vincent farming in the organic and bio-dynamic methods that he espoused and in 1994 when Vincent decided to retire, Stéphane Otheguy took over and began making wine from these same vineyards.
Stéphane is a member of Nature et Progres, an organization that oversees and certifies organic farming. The vineyards that Stéphane cultivates are among the most difficult in France to farm organically. They are extremely steep and rocky, making the use of machinery impossible and requiring a great deal of intensive manual labor. His winemaking techniques are traditional or natural. The domaine has been worked organically since it has been taken over in 1984.
The Côte-Rôtie comes from parcels at Ritolas, Leya, Côte Rozier and Rozier. The vines are a minimum of twenty-five years old and are situated on micaschists oriented south and south east. The vinification takes place in cement betons. There is a preferment maceration for three to four days then an opentopped fermentation on the indigenous yeasts. Pigeage takes place once a day with regular pumping over. Long elevage in barrels, but no new oak. The wine is neither filtered nor fined and only has the smallest addition of sulphur.
The nose develops with notes of burnt wood, violets and blackberries and exhibits a kind of cool smokiness. The mouth embracing theses flavours, is vital and tonic, and displays a dynamic minerality. A very pretty Côte-Rôtie, fresh and stylish, naturally expressing the terroir. Serve with a piece of grilled beef or roasted aubergines with thyme and spices and confit shoulder of lamb.