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Rene Rostaing, Cote Rotie Cote Blonde 2001


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  • Grape Blend:

    Syrah, Viognier

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    Cote Rotie

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Good deep red-ruby. Explosive, wonderfully sweet aromas of red berries, bacon fat and woodsmoke. Fatter, sweeter and more opulent than the Landonne, but at the same time finer-grained and even more intensely flavored. Today this comes across as less peppery and more fruit-driven. Very rich and very long on the end. Give this three or four years of additional cellaring. Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (93)

Fascinating nose that is both powerful and packed with sweet red fruits. The palate is really well judged, drinking beautifully – secondary leafy notes abound and work really well alongside the juicy and chewy fruit. A vibrant red-fruit note shines through on the finish. The acidity refreshes and revitalises – very good. Alistair Cooper MW (18)

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René’s vineyard fervour, traditional whole bunch fermentation technique and favoured use of 600 litre demi-muid casks which don’t stamp too much wood flavour onto the wine, have for years resulted in some of the Côte Rôtie’s most intense, vital and sought-after wines. His son Pierre took the helm since the 2015 vintage and looks to be filling some quite big shoes. He has kept his father's style, 90-100% whole bunch ferment and less than 10% new oak ageing, whilst adding additional precision and intensity to the wines. His flagship wine, Côte Blonde goes against the grain of the widespread clichés about the effeminacy and delicacy of Côte Blonde wines. Although it does benefit from the floral effects of the 2-3% Viognier added to the blend, its density and concentration requires a barrel maturation longer than the others and at least ten years bottle age is needed before it is approached. Chiselled and intense, it offers a saline chalk note to the brambly fruit. This has become one of the most respected estates in the region.

The Rostaing estate dates to 1971 when René Rostaing– a Notary by trade – began tending a few plots of family vineyards. He had the perfect role model to guide him into a career of classical winemaking: Marius Gentaz, his uncle. Over the next few years, René took advantage not only of his uncle’s mentoring, but of historically low vineyard prices, to acquire a prized half acre each in the Côte Blonde and La Landonne lieux-dits.

And when he married, he acquired a second traditional role model, his father-in-law, Albert Dervieux. Dervieux retired in 1989 and Gentaz followed three years later, giving René a further ten acres of very old vines in some of the appellation’s top sites. This treasury of vineyards launched René’s estate into the stratosphere.

The vineyard expansion also enabled René to quit his day job and to devote himself full time to winemaking. Over the next 25+ years, he crafted a sequence of masterful wines that honored the legacy of his illustrious forebearers.

In 2015, René’s son, Pierre, took the reins at an estate that boasts 20+ acres of the finest vineyards in and around Côte Rôtie. And, he shares his father’s deep reverence for Côte Rôtie’s traditions.

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