The 2021 Côtes Du Rhône Le Temps Est Venu is terrific and unquestionably a resounding success in the vintage. Already bottled and based on 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, brought up all in concrete, it has lots of darker berry fruits, some peppery, violet, and floral notes, medium body, fine tannins, and a clean finish. It makes the most of the vintage and is perfect for drinking over the coming 4-5 years or so.
Drink 2022 - 2027
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (December 2022)
About this WINE
Domaine Stephane Ogier
The Ogier family had been established growers in Ampuis for over seven generations, but it was only in the 1980s that they began vinifying their own grapes. Stéphane joined the family estate in ’97, working alongside his father Michel, before taking over in 2003.
Heralded as the face of the Northern Rhône’s new generation, Stéphane continues acquiring new parcels and trying new techniques. He brings a Burgundian approach to the region’s terroir from his studies in Beaune. He works with multiple lieux-dits, vinifying each separately and using oak sparingly. This allows the characteristics of each to show. He releases many wines as single lieu-dit bottlings later in the year and others he blends, selecting from different barrels to build a style representative of both his vision and the vintage. Stéphane’s latest investment includes vineyards in Rasteau, Cairanne, and Plan de Dieu in the Southern Rhône, bringing his total land-ownings there up to 50 hectares, all destined for his Côtes-du-Rhône offering.
Southern Rhône Blend
The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.
The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.