Saturated ruby-red. Knockout nose combines black fruits, black pepper, tar, roast coffee, bitter chocolate, mocha and brown spices. Then peppery and dense in the mouth, with uncanny verve for a wine with such a velvety texture and compelling sweetness. A wine of great finesse and nuance, but also distinctly large-scaled for an example from the Cote Blonde. Extremely broad and long on the back end, with lingering notes of roasted herbs and tapenade and a peppery quality to its tannins. Great syrah. I'd love to stick this wine in a blind tasting with the most sought-after cult shirazes from Australia This wine would have the sheer density to compete even with Aussie examples at 16% alcohol, and in terms of energy, primary fruit character and complexity of soil tones, this would leave the Australian wines in its dust.
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.