Serge Roh-Cave Les Ruinettes

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The Roh family has its origins in Alsace having crossed the mountains into the Swiss Valais during the 17th century. They settled in the town of Conthey which eventually in 1862 was split into two communes: Conthey and its neighbor, Vétroz. It is in the latter village that the Roh family and its cave are located, essentially in the heart of the Valais.

Serge Roh’s father, Marc, began to vinify the grapes from his own vineyard parcels in 1950 and progressively added additional plots of land over the years. The domaine now encompasses ten hectare of vineyards. Serge joined his father in 1984 after having studied at the cantonal school of agriculture and at the prestigious school of oenology at Changins. Serge Roh took complete responsibility for the domaine, known as the Cave Les Ruinettes, in 1999. His wife, Patricia, works by his side handling all the administrative tasks for this distinctly family affair.

The Roh family has assembled an impressive selection of vineyards and cepages, almost all of which are situated within the confines of Vétroz and Conthey. Their ten hectares include four white and five red grape varieties which allows them to offer one of the most complete lineups of traditional wines of the Valais and which are particularly representative of the Vetroz appellation. The white grapes are planted on the steep hillsides, most of which are formed into terraces, with a full south exposure. The soil is composed of schist and glacial moraine. All work is done by hand since the extreme slopes of this magnificent valley do not permit any mechanization. The red grapes are cultivated in a zone slightly lower in altitude where the soil is infused with round stones known as “galets” which have been rent smooth by years of alluvial action. The bulk of the vineyards are quite old, with the average age of the vines being 35 years (as of 2011).

SERGE-ROH-VETROS Vetroz Grand Cru (Fendant): This wine comes from an ancient strain of Fendant (also known as Chasselas) which produces this intensely mineral wine marked by a gunflint (“pierre-a-fusil”) character and precise focus. No destemming and a soft pressing help preserve the true character of the fruit. Because of its consistently high quality, Roh declares this as one of the Grand Cru bottlings of the Cave des Ruinettes. Roh’s Fendant is vinified without barrel aging and the wine does undergo a malolactic fermentation to provide additional roundness to the texture.
SERGE-ROH-PETITE-ARVINE Petite Arvine de Vetroz: Citrus notes (grapefruit zest) characterize this very dry and full-bodied white wine which carries a persistent acidity and elegant fruit. The Petite Arvine is an ancient local grape, introduced by the Romans, that is found in the Valais and also on the other side of the Alpine mountains in the Valle d’Aosta of Italy. It is obviously a grape that flourishes in the high altitude zones of the Alps.
SERGE-ROH-PETITE-ARVINE Amigne Grand Cru de Vetroz Amigne: is the signature grape of the village of Vétroz, the source of 90% of the world’s production of wines from this rare and very special variety. Serge Roh’s Cave Les Ruinettes owns a single hectare plot, the vines of which are sixty years old (as of 2011). Roh produces a seductive version, often in a demi-sec style. Far from “sweet”, the wine is supported by 6.5g per liter of acidity, bringing balance to a bottle that has a lot to say about this compelling varietal. Roh describes his Amigne as expressing notes of mandarin orange, lime blossom and spice with a silky texture and a hint of noble tannin … most definitely a wine to age.

Ermitage de Vetroz Fletri: In the Valais, the weather conditions are such that, with the persistently dry, sunny late season climate, the vigneron has the option of leaving certain grapes, in this instance, the Ermitage (also known as Marsanne) on the vine for late harvest. In fact, in certain vintages, the grapes for this wine are harvested as late as January of the following year. “Fletri” refers to the raisining of the grapes on the vine. Obviously, this is a very limited production affair which Roh normally bottles in 500ml size.

Roh-Pinot-Noir-GC Pinot Noir de Vetroz Grand Cru: This “mountain Pinot” is a graceful expression of this noble grape. It has an alpine precision with the normally bright berry fruit being married to the heady notes of the pine forest. The wines carries a well-balanced acidity and gentle tannins. It is vinified in stainless steel to preserve the mountain freshness and is a wine of exceptional finesse.
Download Roh tech sheet
Domaine NameCave les Ruinettes
Family/Owners NameSerge Roh
How many years has the family owned the domaine?1950
How many generations?2
How many hectares of vines are leased?4
How many hectares of vines are owned?9,4 ha
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? When?Lutte raisonnee
Describe your vineyard management practices (e.g. low-intervention, organic, biodynamic, standard, etc.).Field work by hand. Green harvest
PLEASE ALSO ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING IN YOUR REPLY: Do you do field work and harvest manually? By machine? By horse? Do you practice green harvest? Leaf thinning?Leaf-thinning
How do you fertilize?No fertilizer, we just use the vine-shoots
Do you typically sell or buy any grapes? Please specify.No
Do you sell off any of your wine en vrac/allo sfuso?No
WINE 1Fendant de Vétroz Grand Cru 2015
AppellationFendant de Vétroz Grand Cru 2015
%ABV12% by vol
# of bottles produced5000
Grams of Residual Sugar0
WINE 2Amigne de Vétroz Grand Cru 2015
AppellationAmigne de Vétroz Grand Cru 2015
%ABV14% by vol
# of bottles produced4000
Grams of Residual Sugar4gr/l
WINE 3Petite-Arvine de Vétroz 2015
AppellationPetite-Arvine de Vétroz 2015
%ABV13% by vol
# of bottles produced6000
Grams of Residual Sugar0
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsVetroz 80%, Chamoson 20%
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth exposure. 70% of the vineyard is situated on hills with 35% of slope. Pinot Noir, Gamay and Gamaret are on plains
Soil Types(s)Schistous limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)30 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)8000 to 10000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)Mid-september
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed and crushed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank
Duration of cuvaison10 to 15 days
Duration of contact with lees1 to 2 months
Select or indigenous yeast?Select yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Punching-down by hand
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationRacking. No chaptalization. Malolactic fermentation only for red wines
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Stainless steel tank and barrels
Duration of elevage6 to 18 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market4 to 5 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describe No fining. Pre-filtered wines with earth in winter. Then filtration with cartridge for the bottling
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes on the grapes. At release 35mg/l of SO2
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Rich vintage which thanks to a good acidity , gives well-balance wines
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