In Bordeaux it’s not unusual to walk through echoey corridors stacked floor to ceiling with bottles of older wines. But the culture in the northern Rhône is different. Most producers will squirrel away a few cases for special occasions, but winemakers usually sell through an entire vintage rather than hold a proportion back.
It’s understandable. A Bordeaux estate is typically five times the size of a domaine in Côte-Rôtie. Older vignerons from around Ampuis still remember when selling their wine wasn’t as easy as it is today, or as rewarding. Holding stock back wasn’t financially viable for many.