In a nutshell: A very fine and elegant single vineyard Côte Rôtie from the northern Rhône.
The lowdown: Domaine du Monteillet's Stéphane Montez's family has been making wine in the region for many generations though the 2016 is only the second release of the lieu-dit (single site named vineyard) of Bons-Arrêts. Côte Rôtie is know for producing some of the world's finest wine with steep, terraced vineyards on the west bank of the Northern Rhône valley from the Syrah variety with also a small proportion of Viognier in the blend. Bons-Arrêts sits in the heart of the appellation, high up the slope with a south-east exposure and is a monopole of Monteillet; the vineyard is the sole property of the winery.
This is a very fine and elegant example with some almost Burgundian characteristics. Medium-full bodied and incredibly fresh and precise with great depth of flavour. Delicate dark and red berry fruit and floral notes lead onto more savoury oak and spice notes with supple tannins, good acidity and a long length. Another excellent wine from Stéphane Montez.
When to drink: Decant at least an hour beforehand if drinking now, though a wine of this quality will keep through into the next decade.
Stéphane Montez's family have been growing grapes in the Northern Rhône for ten generations and today have 23 hectares of prime vineyards in Condrieu, Côte Rôtie and Saint-Joseph. Their winery is just north of the village of Chavany in the heart of the region.
After formally studying winemaking in France, Stéphane travelled to South Africa, Australia, California and England to experience winemaking outside France, before returning to the family estate. He took over the business in 1997 and has driven the quality of the wines and the domaine's reputation to even greater heights. Winemaking focuses on power, precision and structure and involves temperature-controlled fermentations, careful extraction and the use of large wooden vats known as demi-muids.