Domaine Garon

Côte Rotie - Rhône Valley

Domaine Garon “Les Triotes” 2008 - Côte Rôtie (Blonde)  
This is the main wine of the Domaine, made with Syrah grapes averaging 25 years of age producing an average yield of 36hl/ha. The fruit is from 4 lieux dits representing 4.50 ha in the Côte Blonde area of the appellation. About 30% of the grapes are vinified as whole bunches, both concrete vats and stainless steel vats are used for the fermentations that last about 2 weeks at 30°C. The wine is aged in oak barrels for 18 months with 25% of new oak and 75% of 1 to 5 years old barrels, the wine is then bottled without filtration.

PVins notes: This is a great example of a “Côte Blonde” wine. It will fully express its origins after 3-4 years cellaring with floral and spicy aromas, it is well-balanced and structured by the tannins, a cool climate style of Syrah. The wine may be cellared for up to 20 years in great vintages. 

Domaine Garon “Les Rochins” 2009 - Côte Rôtie (Brune)
A premium wine made from Syrah currently averaging 15 years of age. The 0.50 ha parcel is set at about 200 metres in altitude. The fruit is from the lieu dit "Les Rochins" in the Côte Brune area. The yield varies from 20 to 30 hl/ha depending on the vintage. About 30% of the grapes are vinified as whole bunches, both concrete vats and stainless steel vats are used for the fermentations that last about 2 weeks. The wine is aged in oak barrels for about 18 months with 40% of new oak and 60% of 1 to 3 years old barrels, the wine is then bottled without filtration.

PVins notes: The wine needs about 4-5 years cellaring for the oak to be absorbed and the tannins to smooth out a little, remember the grapes are from the “Côte Brune” area on schist soil and time will play in its favour. “Les Rochins” will age gracefully over 2 to 3 decades when produced in excellent vintages such as 2005, 2009, 2010.

Press: Guide Hachette des Vins 2012 - noted Very Good
This wine comes from a plot located in the Rochins area, immediately attracted by its intense nose of jammy black fruits, complemented with buttery and toasty notes. The mouth proves rich, full, supported by silky tannins a sign of extraction conducted smoothly. On the finish, violet aromas bring freshness and elegance. A good wine in its name, where everything is in its place. Best from 2014. 

Wine Advocat  91
Concentrated and aromatic, the dark plum/purple-hued 2009 Cote Rotie Les Rochins is an irresistible effort with low acidity, velvety tannins, and a supple, medium to full-bodied, opulent texture as well as purity. This elegant, feminine Cote Rotie should drink nicely for a decade or more. Drink 2011 - 2021

The first known GARON to settle at Ampuis was Guillaume GARON born in 1475 and the family’s first vineyard dates back to 1836. After many generations, it is Jean-François and Carmen GARON that in 1982 decided to bring the Domaine’s vineyards back to life by replanting the abandoned parcels and purchasing new ones. In 1995 Jean-François and Carmen decided to bottle their first wine and named it “Côte-Rôtie”, the fruit was previously sold to Guigal. In 2003 Fabien and Kévin joined their parents on the estate after finishing their wine studies in Burgundy and Beaujolais. With their plot by plot approach in the vineyards and cellar they have brought the quality of the wines from Domaine Garon to a new level of high quality. In 2011-2012 a new cellar was build to increase the storage space and improve the winemaking process.

The Domaine’s 5 ha are made up of 6 parcels: 5 parcels are in the Côte Blonde area near the cellar representing 4.50 ha and a 6th parcel purchased in 1999 is further north at “Les Rochins” in the Côte Brune area representing 0.50 ha. The plantation density is 9,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare which are planted on steep slopes and small terraces facing south-east and south-west. The only grape grown on the Domaine is the Syrah. The work in the vineyard by the brothers Kévin and Fabien involves green harvesting when necessary and canopy management, the ploughing is done by a horse where possible due to the steepness of some parcels. The various terroirs which are exposed through the wines are as follow:

Côte Blonde (southern parcels): the lieux dits "La Triotte", "lancement", "Combard" and "Mollard" are composed of gneiss and sandy-clay giving the soil a blond "Blonde" aspect. Here the wines are more feminine in style.

Côte Brune (northern parcel): the lieu dit "Les Rochins" is composed of micaschists with clay and iron giving the soil a brownish "Brune" colour. The wines are more robust and masculine in style.

In 2011-2012 a new cellar was build at Domaine Garon to increase the storage space and also to enable the winemaking process in the cellar to be carried out by gravitation excluding the usage of pumps. The grapes are hand-picked and sorted on arrival at the cellar. About 20%-30% of whole bunches are used in the winemaking process depending on the vintage to bring a little extra balance in the structure of the wines. The fermentations are done using only indigenous yeasts and take 2 to 3 weeks in both concrete and stainless steel vats depending on the wine. With Fabien and Kévin’s plot by plot "parcellaire" approach in the vineyard each vat is allocated to a specific parcel. Each parcel is aged separately in French oak barrels, some new, between 18 to 24 months depending on the vintage and the wine produced. Various sizes of barrels are used from the 228 litres to the demi-muid. Once the ageing process is completed the various barrels are then blended before bottling, the wines are usually unfined and no filtration is carried out.

The Domaine produces four distinct Côte Rôtie wines to emphasize the Syrah’s quality from the different types of terroirs:

La Sybarine” created in 2009, which could be considered as the entry level wine, is made from vines planted on granite soils in the lieux dits "Mollard" and "Goutay" in the Côte Blonde. This is a pleasant early drinking Côte Rotie to be consumed within 5-10 years.

Next level up is “Les Triotes” which is the main wine of the Domaine renamed in 2006. Its fruit comes from the lieux dits"Triotte", "Lancement", "Combard" and "Mollard" in the Côte Blonde. The wine shows more tannins in its structure with hints of kirsch and spices on the nose. A wine that can be cellared for a couple of decades in great vintages.

The latest addition since 2013 is "Lancement", a single vineyard wine named after the parcel of the same name. Located in the Côte de Blonde area, the 30 years old vines are planted on schist soil producing a powerful fruit driven wine with finesse.

Since 2003, the premium wine “Les Rochins” is another single vineyard wine also named after the lieu dit of the same name. A small parcel of only 0.50 ha facing south on a steep slope located in the Côte Brune area. A masculine, rich and powerful wine with great length, it will age gracefully over 20 to 30 years in excellent vintages. 

View:  Côte Rôtie video 

Links:  AOP Côte Rôtie   -   Northern Rhone map


The appellation Côte-Rôtie was created in 1940, located in the northern Rhône on the right bank of the Rhône River. It is the most northern appellation of the Rhône Valley only 30 kilometres south of Lyon. Côte-Rôtie covers 250 hectares with its 73 “lieux-dits” (classified sites) within the three communes of Saint-Cyr sur Rhône, Ampuis and Tupin-Semons to the south.

The history of the vineyards date back to the Romans and the first writings about Ampuis and its wines can be traced back to the 6th century. Côte-Rôtie’s reputation was at its peak in 1890 before it was devastated by the phylloxera in 1893. It took a long time for the appellation to recover, as many local vignerons and workers lost their lives during the Great War of 1914-1918 leaving most of the vineyards unattended for decades. It was not before the 60’s, when only 60 hectares remained that the revival of the appellation started and continued through the 70’s. During the 80’s Côte-Rôtie was finally well on track in rebuilding its pass reputation for producing high quality wines.

The vineyards are situated between 150-300 meters in altitude mainly on steep slopes that can reach a gradient of 60°. The vines face south and south-east often planted on manmade terraces (rocky walls) that look like giant steps when looking up the slopes from the foothills. The walls also help to retain the soil in place after heavy rains. Côte-Rôtie has three different terroirs: micaschists in the north, Gneiss to the south and migmatite at the south-eastern tip, all based on the parent rock granite from 300-350 million years ago. These terroirs are defined by two distinctive areas called the “Côte Blonde” and the “Côte Brune”. The “Côte Blonde” area to the south has more sandy-clay soils which give the ground a lighter colour, here the wines produced are elegant and feminine in style. To the north, the soils of the “Côte Brune” have more clay, iron and micaschists giving the soil a darker colour, the wines produced here are firmer and masculine with an excellent ageing potential in great vintages.

The appellation only produces red wines from Syrah locally named “sérine” which can also be blended with Viognier to a maximum of 20%, but usually the blend does not exceed 10% and the majority of this small production comes from the southern area of “Côte Blonde”. The wines, by appellation decree, cannot exceed 13% alcohol. The wine’s colour is a deep ruby red, the nose can vary from red or black berries to floral notes of violet and spices, it may also display notes of woodland, leather, tobacco and mocha. On the palate they can be robust with firm fine grained tannins depending on the wine’s origin, but a Côte-Rôtie will always show elegance and finess.

As for the appellation’s climate, with its south-facing vineyards it is not greatly affected by the northerly winds called “Bise”, it has a temperate semi-continental climate similar to that of Lyon: winters are mild, summers are hot and rainfall is regular. The Mediterranean influence can be felt with the warm drying southerly winds moving up the Rhône Valley. The winds in the valley can be quiet strong therefore the vines are attached to wooden poles in a hut or “X” shape locally called “cabanne” or “échalas” to prevent the strong winds, especially in altitude, from literally reaping out the vines from the ground or growing flat on the ground.