René Rostaing, my hero

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November 30th 2010

René Rostaing is my Côte Rôtie hero. He is unbelievably clear about his mission in the vineyard and cellar – to make pure classic Syrah which shouts its origins from the rooftops. He is also charming, thoughtful and expressive.

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We were incredibly fortunate that he offered a vertical of his Côte Rôtie La Landonne for our recent Rhône tasting. These wines certainly reinforced my hero worship. Here are Jancis Robinson’s notes.

2009 Vintage
René Rostaing 2009 Côte Rôtie 17 Drink 2013-2020
Bright crimson. Massive grunt factor here. All very terroir driven. Does smell of a roasted slope! Then some very savoury, transparent light- to medium-weight Syrah. Should not disappoint, and should be drinkable relatively early.

René Rostaing, Côte Blonde 2009 Côte Rôtie 17.5+ Drink 2014-2023
Scented and concentrated. Very fresh and pointed. For the moment very youthful indeed. A little inky on the end. For Rostaing this is quite dramatic! It will need quite a while.

René Rostaing, La Landonne 2009 Côte Rôtie 18 Drink 2013-2023
For once, this seems milder than the Côte Blonde. Very well mannered and beautifully balanced. Succulent and very appetising. Complete and gorgeous.

La Landonne Vertical

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René Rostaing, La Landonne 2005 Côte Rôtie 18.5 Drink 2010-2018
Mid to pale ruby. Lots of evolution on the nose. Rich start and then very brûlée. Lovely completeness. Just so seductive now (compared with the Guigal Landonne…) Great freshness and length. Really stunning. Very easy to love.

René Rostaing, La Landonne 2004 Côte Rôtie 17.5 Drink 2008-2017
Pale slightly muddy crimson. Smells much more than a year older than the 2005. Much spindlier too. Clean and fresh and laudable. Very appetising. Lighter side of Cote Rôtie. Very brisk and clean. Mouthwash?! Rostaing loves this and I can quite see why – very representative, even if some might think a little light.

René Rostaing, La Landonne 2003 Côte Rôtie 16.5 Drink 2008-2014
Looks quite youthfully blue. Rostaing detests this vintage, he says several times! Rich and bloody and not very readable. All heat and density. Some rhubarb stewed-fruit aroma. Fossilised. It doesn’t seem that old, but there isn’t that much evolution either.

René Rostaing, La Landonne 2001 Côte Rôtie 17.5 Drink 2007-2014
Light ruby. Transparent and subtle and very Côte Rôtie. Lively and light and fresh and appetising. Scrubbed fresh. Youth hostel – no luxury here, just asceticism. Well done!