Côte Rôtie is the northernmost of the Rhône vineyard. There have been vines on these “roasted slopes” for 24 centuries. Jasmin owns just under ten acres in the Côte-Brune and Côte-Blonde. The steep, terraced slopes must be tended by hand, but the reward is a wine of great class that vies with Hermitage as the world’s finest example of Syrah.
When Robert Jasmin was tragically passed away, the Estate fell into the careful hands of son Patrick who carried on his father’s work. He uses no new oak, preferring two and three year old Tronçais barrels from Burgundy growers. Jasmin prefers his wine at five years, though it is capable of prolonged aging. The grapes are now destemmed and the time in wood has been lessened. Patrick has been very successful in a remarkably short time. He has reduced the number of bottlings so as to guarantee greater consistency between the different markets where it is sold.
“Patrick Jasmin farms along the infamous terraces of Côte-Rôtie in the Northern Rhône—hard work that he jokingly calls “la galère,” like a ship’s galley. Growing grapes on some of the most precipitous, terraced parcels of the Rhône can be back-breaking work, but Patrick loves it. Answering only to himself in the midst of celebrated vineyard land, he’s as independent and they come with an insatiable appetite for adventure and risks. (In addition to holding the title of the French National Kart-Cross Champion in 2000, he has developed a new passion for car track racing.) As the fourth generation to farm the family domaine, at first alongside both his father and grandfather and now on his own, he remains grounded in tradition. Patrick and his wife Arlette (the business whiz of the family), tend to eleven parcels of land in eight lieux-dits, totaling a mere five hectares of land. It’s a remarkable amount of work considering the challenging nature of the terrain and its inaccessibility to tractors. Therefore, at Domaine Jasmin everything is done by hand, of course with the exception of the punch-downs … which are by foot.”
– Kermit Lynch