Thierry 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.

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.

Thierry Richoux - 2017 Bourgogne Rosé

Price: $30.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

Out of stock

Type of Wine: Rosé
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Style: Mineral, Rustic

The Wine

Inside the Bottle: This rosé made from 100% Pinot Noir may be the most serious rosé you could find for its price. It is best drunk more than a year after it is bottled, which usually happens mid-summer each year following its pick. The wine shows the same through-line that you can find with all the wines from Richoux: Elegant expressions of orange peel, aperol, persimmon and griotte.  The acidity of the wine is striking and elevates this wine well beyond your typical rosé. Despite its seriousness, it is also very approachable. Be careful with this one, you might get addicted.

Terroir: Like the rest of the appellation, the primary soil structures are limestone and clay with varying differences in soil depth from the top of the hill to the bottom, top being the most spare in depth and the bottom the most profound. What is important here is the aspect. Most of the rosé wines are made from Pinot Noir that grows on the north face of this horseshoe shaped appellation. Because the north doesn't get the same access to the sun, it is hard for it to find its full ripeness to make a still wine.

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: Irancy is tucked in at the bottom of a very small amphitheater about 20 minutes west 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. 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 the most common location for the rosé wines due to its inability to fully ripen each year for still red wine production.

Vinification: The grapes are harvested by hand in small bins. The grapes are normally whole cluster pressed (sometimes there is a saignée made). SO2 is added only at bottling (starting in 2018 vintage). The wine is fined and lightly filtered.

Aging: Inox for 8 months, depending on the vintage.

(Subjective and based on young wines)

General Impressions:

Sweet Pink Flower, Mineral, Metal, Gentle, Acidic Backbone, Cherry and Strawberry Skin

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:

Kimmeridian limestone marls, Portlandian limestone and clay

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

40 years old average (2019) many parcels

Altitude:

180-240

Aspect:

N/NW/W/S
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfur Dioxide. Isinglass (a natural fining agent originating from swim bladder of a fish) is used to clarify the wine—it is commonly used in beer as well.

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

12-12.8

pH:

3.2-3.3

Titratable Acidity:

4.2-4.5

Residual Sugar:

>1-3

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

About The Wine

Inside the Bottle: This rosé made from 100% Pinot Noir may be the most serious rosé you could find for its price. It is best drunk more than a year after it is bottled, which usually happens mid-summer each year following its pick. The wine shows the same through-line that you can find with all the wines from Richoux: Elegant expressions of orange peel, aperol, persimmon and griotte.  The acidity of the wine is striking and elevates this wine well beyond your typical rosé. Despite its seriousness, it is also very approachable. Be careful with this one, you might get addicted.

Terroir: Like the rest of the appellation, the primary soil structures are limestone and clay with varying differences in soil depth from the top of the hill to the bottom, top being the most spare in depth and the bottom the most profound. What is important here is the aspect. Most of the rosé wines are made from Pinot Noir that grows on the north face of this horseshoe shaped appellation. Because the north doesn’t get the same access to the sun, it is hard for it to find its full ripeness to make a still wine.