Roaix is a small named appellation of the Côtes du Rhône (113 Ha total vineyard area). It’s situated just north of Seguret and a few miles east of Rasteau and Cairanne. The beautiful, historic village of Vaison-la-Romaine is about 10 minutes drive east. This area isn’t a nice place to visit, it’s heavenly. Rocky outcrops, undulating terrain, colours changing from one minute to the next with the shifting sun… totally beguiling. Vines are everywhere.
Olivier Tropet is the man behind the wines of Pique-Basse. He makes super suave wines, doing everything by hand on a small artisanal scale. He’s becoming really hot property and people who know wine in the Southern Rhone, know Olivier is going places.
His reds are deep, dark, brooding and super intense, without relying on over extraction. His whites are wonderfully characterful, textural and elegant, although unfortunately in such short supply that few people are yet to taste them. He also makes a tiny amount of rosé which is pure unadulterated pleasure in a glass.
Meeting Olivier and tasting his wines was a really exiting moment for me. Having my first sip of l’As du Pique will stay with me forever… ripe red fruit, spice and smoke on the nose, velvety texture and a beautifully balanced hit of fruit and spice on the palate. Elegance and power wound up in a winning structure. It’s a wine that’s immediate in giving pleasure, yet at the same time it demands attention from the drinker. You simply can’t help but take notice of this wine.
l’As du Pique is a blend of Grenache (80%), with Syrah and Mourvèdre making up the remainding (20%). It’s hand harvested before being de-stemmed and vinified (and aged) in concrete. Heavy extraction is avoided with no crushing of the grapes, instead Olivier uses more gentle techniques to extract, alternating between remontage and pigeage.
If you only taste one Côtes-du-Rhône Village Roaix in your life it should be this one.