Patrice Rion started making wine in 1977 at his father’s estate, Daniel Rion. In 2000, he decided to leave his father’s winery to start his own domaine with his wife Miche`le. Their son, Maxime, is now also working full-time at the winery. They bottle from the 5.5ha vineyards that they own under “Miche`le and Patrice” label. They buy grapes from 5-6ha strictly from growers who follow their same viticulture practices, and these neÅLgoce wines are bottled under the label “Patrice Rion”. The work in the vineyards is of the utmost importance here. They are getting organic certification and follow biodynamic principles as well.
Regarding the work in the vineyards, Maxime says: “We do not use herbicides, or chemical products, so the wines do not contain any residual elements, and the life in the vineyard is better. We have a high canopy to have better ripeness, and we control the yields. The pruning is short, and we try to have the best aeration possible for the grapes. We pick by hand, in small cases to not damage the fruit. Then we have a nice sorting system, before and after the destemmer with around 6 to 10 persons sorting… depending on the quality of the vintage. We fill the stainless steel tanks by gravity and try then to work in a reductive way to protect the aromas and the color. We try not to change the balance and nature of the wine, so no enzymes are used, and no acidification (except in a vintage like 03). Concerning the yeasts, we use the ambient yeasts found on the berries unless if there are quality and the population issues (if there is rot, then the yeasts are bad, and if the weather is too dry, then there are not enough yeasts, so then we employ some dry yeasts). After the alcoholic fermentation, we gently press the must, and blend with the free run wine. After one week or two, we fill the barrels by gravity. We use 50% new oak barrels, 100% French origin, and we work with 3 different coopers. Aging is around 18 months, depending on the tasting throughout the year, the structure of the wines, and how it evolves. Then, racking, and blending the cuveÅLe for few weeks. Sometimes we fine, but this is rare. Bottling is under screw caps for the entry-level appellations, and part of the white 1er Crus. Good quality corks for the rest of the production.”
(Patrice) 50 year-old vines from Damodes villages. Just above Nuits 1er Cru Damodes and bordering Vosne-Romanee.
Review Score: 89