Shows a juicy core of macerated red and black cherry fruit woven with mesquite, aged tobacco and bittersweet cocoa. Has a tarry edge on the finish that steadily softens as this airs.--1999 Côte-Rôtie non-blind retrospective.
Bright ruby-red. Superripe, expressive aromas of raspberry, coffee, roasted herbs and pepper; shows a slightly porty surmaturite. Rich, round and lush; a wonderfully ripe and full-blown yet fresh wine with substantial, solid tannins and superb persistence. This has a lot of all the key elements, including acidity. A superb vintage for this wine - and there are more than 27,000 cases of this stuff!
The perfect combination of elegance and purity of fruit give this famous wine, a blend of fruit from both slopes of the hills above Ampuis, a great sense of style as well as power. The Syrah perfumes, at their richest and coolest, combine with black fruits to give an overwhelming impression of immense fruit flavors.
Only a red wine appellation, Côte Rôtie is the most northern of all Rhône appellations and is produced mostly from Syrah, although Viognier may contribute up to 20% of the blend. Its terroir is divided into two categories. Côte Brune's soil is comprised of iron-entrenched granite giving thesoil a rich red-brown colour. As a result, it creates wine of notable power and concentration that usually needs time in the cellar to soften and develop. Heading south down the slope towards Condrieu, one encounters Côte Blonde, an area comprised of decomposed schist and mica that is lighter in colour and tends to produce elegantly styled wine for earlier consumption (most of the area's Viognier is grown here). Many traditional producers of Côte Rôtie feel that their best wines are a blend of the two.