Côtes du Rhône
Although the largest production of Côtes du Rhône wines is in the south, generic Côtes du Rhône wines can have a Northern Rhône origin. Sometimes combined with additional geographic reference. Brézème being the most interesting.
Brézème is a small wine area (29 hectares) near Livron where the river Drôme and the Rhône meet. We are talking about the most southern wine region of the Northern Rhône, about 17 kilometers south of Valence. In the mid-19th century, the wines from this area were highly competitive with the more northern Hermitage wines. At geological level and in grape varieties (syrah for the reds and roussanne for the whites) there are certainly similarities with a few lieu dits on the Hermitage hill. In 1961 only a few hectares remained. Through the efforts of Eric Texier, Brézème, in the nineties, has revived. Although not an official appellation, (Brézème is part of the generic Côtes du Rhône), Brézème is allowed as an indication on the label, both for white and red wines. Meanwhile, recognition from the INAO for ‘Coteau de Brézème’ is being lobbied.
Brézème has two very different terroirs, separated by the Drôme river. The ‘Vrai Côte de Brézème’ as Texier calls it contains a lot of marble and limestone and thus shows some resemblance to Hermitage. The other terroir contains more alluvial material with stones (galets). There is a unique micro-climate here, 300 meters above sea level, with a cooling influence from the Massif Vercors in the east.