The wines of Graeme and Julie Bott (Domaine GJ Bott): what happens when a Kiwi comes to the Northern Rhône and finds love and a vocation
Graeme Bott is a Kiwi and he married Julie, who’s French and was born in the northern Rhône.
Graeme moved to the region in 2010, wanting to discover Syrah, and got a job with Domaine Stéphane Ogier, where he worked for eight years. While he was there, he met Julie. After a number of years together, they thought it would make sense to begin a domaine together, and bought a house in Condrieu. Julie is from the region.
They began their domaine from scratch, and little by little have built it to 7 hectares across different appellations in the northern Rhône. The vines are planted sur echalas, on individual stakes, but they pair up these stakes in a sort of inverted V-shape for stability.
I caught up with them on a visit to the region to taste through their wines.
Graeme and Julie Bott First Flight Viognier 2020 IGP Collines Rhodaniennes, France
Aromatic and floral with lovely Viognier character, showing fresh pear and apricot fruit. 91/100
Graeme and Julie Bott Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2021 Northern Rhône, France
Fresh, pure, focused and bright with pear and white peach fruit, as well as some citrus notes. Linear, and quite modern in style. 91/100
Graeme and Julie Bott St Joseph Blanc 2021 Northern Rhône, France
Very bright and linear. Pure fruit with a stony edge and high acidity. Linear with nice purity. 90/100
Graeme and Julie Bott Condrieu 2021 Northern Rhône, France
Fresh, linear and bright with pear drops and citrus – still very primary. Vivid with high acidity: this is very focused for Viognier. 91/100
Graeme and Julie Bott First Flight Syrah 2020 IGP Collines Rhodaniennes, France
Bright, pure fruity and open with good drinkability. This has an appealing soft mid-palate. 90/100
Graeme and Julie Bott Crozes-Hermitage 2020 Northern Rhône, France
Floral and expressive with a lovely peppery edge to the ripe, sweet fruit. Has a sleek, well-defined palate with lovely fruit purity. 92/100
Graeme and Julie Bott St Joseph 2020 Northern Rhône, France
Some structure here with lovely sweet cherry and plum fruit. Ripe and floral with a silky texture, finishing peppery and spicy. 93/100
Graeme and Julie Bott Kāmaka Terroir de Seyssuel 2020 IGP Collines Rhodaniennes, France
15 months in old barrels. Schist soils. Fruity and vivid with sleek, ripe black cherries. Concentrated with lovely texture. Expansive, fleshy and delicious. 95/100
Graeme and Julie Bott Côte-Rôtie 2019 Northern Rhône, France
This is from two parcels in Tupin Semons in the south of the appellation. Schist and gneiss soils. Spends 24 months in barrel. Lively and pretty with expressive cherry and plum fruit with some fine spiciness and nice structure. Pure, with lovely weight and a silky texture. 95/100
In the UK these wines are available from Lay & Wheeler and Lea & Sandeman
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