Thierry Richoux

Richoux

The Story

Once in a great while you stumble on a hidden gem, even one that has been in plain sight for decades. The first time I tasted a wine made by Thierry Richoux was out of a small, thick-rimmed glass that could only hold about five ounces of wine, if it were completely full. It was a bottle that was brought to dinner by our Chablis producer, Gilles Collet. I can still smell, taste and feel that first moment with Thierry’s 2008 Irancy. To my surprise, he didn’t have an importer in the States yet.

My first meeting with Thierry was one of my most eye-opening experiences. He is a gentle, thin and soft-spoken man with amazingly powerful hands that look like they could crush you with very little effort. Like Thierry, his wines are full of surprises and achieve a level of purity and authenticity that is rare to find, even in Burgundy. I have tasted nearly every red wine he has made going back to the late 80s, and with each wine, a new world opens up. He is without a doubt one of the greatest achievers in our collection and one that I cherish as much as any producer I work with. -TV

Lay of the Land

This gorgeous village of Irancy is tucked in at the bottom of a very small amphitheater about 20 minutes from the center of Chablis. It shares the same basic geology as Chablis: Portlandian limestone on the upper sections and Kimmerigean limestone inside of the sloped areas. However, this is not a place that makes Chardonnay, it is home to one of the furthest north places in France that makes still wine from Pinot Noir.

Irancy has found its special climate for Pinot Noir because of its horseshoe shape that faces south, west and north. The Pinot Noir from the north face is often used for cremant or rosé because it has a more difficult time ripening. The wines from this place can be extremely rustic impressions of Burgundy, something you could imagine something from the Côte d’Or during the 12th century. There is also another red grape here, César, which accentuates the rusticity. However, you will find none of that grape variety in the cellar of Thierry Richoux. -TV

Richoux Irancy

Thierry Richoux - 2014 Irancy, Rouge

Price: $35.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

Out of stock

Type of Wine: Red
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Style: Mineral, Rustic, Elegant and Aromatic

The Wine

Like the rest of the range of his Pinot Noir based wines, this wine shows the consistent nuances of orange peel, aperol, persimmon and griotte. Getting into the reds, you find more rose and red flowers with a strong forest characteristic. When drunk too young or too quickly, the wine may show stern tannins but with a little time, the magic unfolds rewarding the patient drinker becoming integrated and precise. The aromatic profile is noble but still maintains the uniqueness of its appellation and the mastery of Thierry’s craft. It's beautiful when young but can age effortlessly for well over 20 years, a statement I'm comfortable to say with confidence because I have tasted nearly every wine back to the early 80’s and they all age incredibly well, even the so-called "off vintages."

Richoux’s favors taking extra time before the release of his wines, sometimes more than two years after the producers in the Côte d’Or. His wines wines are moved only a couple of times and spend their time in concrete and large foudre (55hl) for two years before bottling, preserving the delicate aromas that need some extra time to come back to form after the bottling. It can take some years for the full recovery; Thierry is in no rush to push them out the door.

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: The hamlet of Irancy is tucked in at the bottom of an amphitheater covered in Pinot Noir vines about a 20 minute drive west from the center of Chablis. It shares the same basic geology as Chablis: Portlandian limestone on the upper, flat sections and Kimmerigean limestone marls not so far down the slope and going all the way to the bottom. Irancy has a special climate for Pinot Noir because of its horseshoe shape that faces south, west and north, with another face that wraps outside the southwest corner with more south and west expositions, like Veaupessiot and La Palotte. The Pinot Noir from the north face is often used for cremant or rosé because it has a more difficult time ripening. César, another red grape known for its rusticity and untamed character, is only found in Richoux’s La Palotte cuvée, while the rest of the reds remain 100% Pinot Noir.

Vinification: After picking by hand the grapes are 100% destemmed and cold soaked for three days before starting their 2-3 week spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel. Malolactic is finished naturally by the end of spring (normally, but the climate is changing things). Pre-2018 there was no SO2 before fermentation and none made throughout the elevage until bottling.

Aging: Two years total before bottling: first year in inox and the second in 228-liter old oak barrels and 50-80hl foudre

(Subjective and based on young wines)

General Impressions:

Aperol, Mineral, Griotte, Sweet Rose, Textured, Good Angles, Fresh, Supple in Warm Years

Mineral Impressions:

Lightly SaltySaltyMetalMineralWet StoneFlintGraphiteReductivePetrol

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

Intensity:

SubtleVigorousElectric

Core:

LitheMediumDense

Acidity:

LightMediumFullElectric

Texture:

LitheMediumDense

Body:

LightMediumFull

Tannin:

NoneLightMediumFull

Finish:

FrontMiddleBack

Wood Presence:

NoneSubtleNoticeable

The Vineyard

Soil:

Kimmeridgian limestone marls, Portlandian limestone scree and clay

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

Average age 30-35 (2019)

Altitude (meters):

180-240

Aspect:

Multiple aspects in all directions except north

Slope:

Moderately steep to very steep
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfites

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

12.5-13.5

pH:

3.4-3.5

Titratable Acidity:

4.5

Residual Sugar:

Dry

Notes compiled in 2019 by Ted Vance (The Source) and Thierry Richoux

About The Wine

Like the rest of the range of his Pinot Noir based wines, this wine shows the consistent nuances of orange peel, aperol, persimmon and griotte. Getting into the reds, you find more rose and red flowers with a strong forest characteristic. When drunk too young or too quickly, the wine may show stern tannins but with a little time, the magic unfolds rewarding the patient drinker becoming integrated and precise. The aromatic profile is noble but still maintains the uniqueness of its appellation and the mastery of Thierry’s craft. It’s beautiful when young but can age effortlessly for well over 20 years, a statement I’m comfortable to say with confidence because I have tasted nearly every wine back to the early 80’s and they all age incredibly well, even the so-called “off vintages.”

Richoux’s favors taking extra time before the release of his wines, sometimes more than two years after the producers in the Côte d’Or. His wines wines are moved only a couple of times and spend their time in concrete and large foudre (55hl) for two years before bottling, preserving the delicate aromas that need some extra time to come back to form after the bottling. It can take some years for the full recovery; Thierry is in no rush to push them out the door.