February 11th 2009
In the March issue of Esquire, Anthony Quinn writes up his new favourite red wine – Cote Rotie. “What makes the wine so alluring is the mixture of spicy vigour and perfumed delicacy and, while it’s not cheap, it isn’t all prohibitively expensive, either.” Hear, hear.
I spent several days in the area some years ago tasting with our stable of growers – Rostaing, Ogier, Clusel Roch, Bonnefond, Gaillard, Montez – and I was entranced. The villages edging the Route Nationale are hardly picturesque, but drive for a few minutes away from the Rhone and the road curls up precipitously winding through terraced vineyards at an alarming rate.
There are no short cuts in these vineyards, it is all back-breaking manual labour. Fortunately the end result is undoubtedly worth it. These are utterly delicious wines. I came down on the side of Cote Blonde (particularly Rostaing’s) for its wonderfully elegant fruit, but others will prefer the muscular spice and power of the Cote Brune.
Tony reccommends several of our wines. Firstly Pierre Gaillard’s Rose Pourpre 2001 he describes as “a sensationally opulent dark-coloured wine with black cherry notes and a long finish”. In fact he liked this wine so much, he bought a case from us and drank a bottle on Christmas Day. So that’s quite a resounding endorsement I would say.
He describes Domaine du Monteillet’s 2001 Cote Rotie Fortis as “proof of the wine’s majesty in a good vintage” and although he feels the Domaine Bonnefond’s Cote Rozier 2004 is not ready yet he is clear about it’s potential: “Once it’s spent some time in the glass, however, it shows the seductive compound of sweet and savoury that constitutes the rotie signature.”
Something of a renaissance man, Tony also writes eloquently on film for The Independent and has recently published an excellent first novel, The Rescue Man. His love of wine (and finely tuned palate) were encouraged by Julian Barnes and Jancis Robinson.