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Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie Cote Blonde 2001

Syrah/Shiraz from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
  • RP94
  • WS91
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A wine of great intensity and lushness with no hard edges is the dark ruby/purple-colored 2001 Cote Rotie Cote Blonde. Sweet aromas of caramel, honeysuckle, black cherry liqueur, raspberries, currants, and subtle notes of toasty oak are followed by a plump, well-textured, opulent finish. I adore this cuvee of Cote Rotie, and it’s a shame more is not produced.

Range: 91-94 Points

WS 91
Wine Spectator
This has started to drop its primary fruit, giving way to dried cherry, tobacco, pepper and olive notes, with a long, sanguine finish. Lightly firm, but with nice perfume hanging through the finish to give it all balance.—Non-blind 2001 Côte-Rôtie retrospective (April 2011).
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Rene Rostaing

Rene Rostaing

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Rene Rostaing, Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
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Not counting the much larger Guigal domaine, Rene Rostaing is the closest thing to a true cult star that Côte-Rôtie has yet produced. A grower since 1971, his first vineyard purchases were a microscopic half acre each in Côte Blonde and in La Landonne on the Côte Brune. The real breakthrough came when his father-in-law, Albert Dervieux-Thaize retired in 1990, followed by his uncle Marius Gentaz-Dervieux three years later. Between these two legendary growers, Rostaing acquired over ten acres of very old vines in some of the appellation’s top sites. The vineyard expansion also enabled René to quit his day job in 1991, and to devote himself full time to winemaking.

Today, Rostaing can boast 20+ acres of the finest vineyards in and around Côte-Rôtie. The wealth of vineyard holdings results in an astonishing array of wines. From several parcels of old vines that immediatly adjoin Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu, Rostaing produces a gorgeous non-appellation white and red called Les Lezardes. In Condrieu, he holds a tiny parcel in La Bonnette that yields some of the region’s most refined Viognier. Most of his Côte-Rôtie parcels are blended to produce the Cuvée Classique, a terrific expression of the appellation. And, of course, there are his two prized Côte-Rôtie special cuvées, La Landonne and Côte Blonde.

Cote Rotie

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The cultivation of vines here began with Greek settlers who arrived in 600 BC. Its proximity to Vienne was important then and also when that city became a Roman settlement but its situation, far from the negociants of Tain, led to its decline in more modern history. However the 1990s brought with it a revival fueled by one producer, Marcel Guigal, who believed in the zone’s potential. He, along with the critic, Robert Parker, are said to be responsible for the zone’s later 20th century renaissance.

Where the Rhone River turns, there is a build up of schist rock and a remarkable angle that produces slopes to maximize the rays of the sun. Cote Rotie remains one of the steepest in viticultural France. Its varied slopes have two designations. Some are dedicated as Côte Blonde and others as Côte Brune. Syrahs coming from Côte Blonde are lighter, more floral, and ready for earlier consumption—they can also include up to 20% of the highly scented Viognier. Those from Côte Brune are more sturdy, age-worthy and are typically nearly 100% Syrah. Either way, a Cote Rotie is going to have a particularly haunting and savory perfume, expressing a more feminine side of the northern Rhone.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

DOB134533_2001 Item# 134533