wines of Gilles
Barge, Ampuis, Côte-Rôtie
I first met Gilles Barge when he was showing his 1999 Côte-Rôtie
at an en primeur tasting in London. In his broken English, he was
explaining how thrilled he was with this vintage, which he described
as his best ever. He was also smiling a lot as he presented this
vertical tasting of his Côte-Rôtie Cuvée
du Plessy, a really interesting set of wines.
Gilles Barge’s style can be fairly described as
traditional. These are not big, fleshy, low acid, accessible wines in
the fashionable international style. They’re wines that take a bit
of getting used to, with their challenging array of savoury flavours.
I guess you could call them terroir wines, although some of these
flavours have as much to do with winemaking choices as they do the
It’s a style I enjoy and appreciate—I’m still
working my way through a case of his 2001 Clos des Martinets St
Joseph, which has delivered great wine-drinking pleasure.
agent is Richards Walford, and where applicable RRPs are included.
Barge Côte-Rôtie Cuvée de Plessy 2003
Lovely vivid fruit here: ripe, slightly sweet with lots of firm
tannins hiding underneath. A smooth, supple style with great
concentration. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£26)
Barge Côte-Rôtie Cuvée de Plessy 2002
Firm, savoury, earthy spicy nose. The palate is savoury with high
acidity, and rather hollow fruit. This is a savoury, tight style.
Finishes dry, spicy and meaty. It would probably work as a food wine;
evidently, this was quite a difficult vintage. Very good+ 89/100 (£23)
Barge Côte-Rôtie Cuvée de Plessy 2001
This has an extreme, peppery, meaty spicy nose that’s quite
savoury, with bright acidity evident. The palate is bright and peppery
with high acidity. Very savoury and spicy—almost tending to austere.
Very good+ 88/100 (£25)
Barge Côte-Rôtie Cuvée de Plessy 1999
A delicious wine: spicy and meaty. Open, perfumed meaty, spicy,
peppery nose. Very savoury and distinctive. The palate shows lovely
acid and tannic structure, backing up open, meaty, spicy fruit.
Extremely savoury but brilliantly balanced. Very good/excellent 93/100
Barge Côte-Rôtie Cuvée de Plessy 1995
Evolved earthy, spicy nose with some sweetness to the fruit.
Complex and showing the first signs of maturity. The palate has a
lovely earthy, spicy complexity together with some fruit and rather
drying tannins. A nice, savoury, evolved style. Very good/excellent
Barge Côte-Rôtie Cuvée de Plessy 1991
Slightly shy, savoury, eathy nose. The palate is powerful and
earthy with drying tannins and good acidity. A mature wine, not
without charm. Very good+ 88/100
Barge Côte-Rôtie Cuvée de Plessy 1989
Lovely expressive nose: just a hint of sweetness, together with
herby, earthy spiciness. It’s perfumed. The palate is nicely
weighted with some sweet fruit and nice earthy spiciness. Elegantly
structured. Very good/excellent 93/100
Wines tasted 01/06
these wines with wine-searcher.com
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