Specificities of Côte-Rôtie
Côte-Rôtie is one of the oldest vineyard of the Rhône Valley. Some even speak about the “original site of the vineyard in Gaul”. It is located on the South of Vienna. This vineyard clings to the steep slopes of the Côte Brune and the Côte Blonde, facing south/east-south of the right bank of the Rhône. We can count 230 hectares on the right bank of Rhône. A historical vineyard which had almost disappeared during the 19th century. In fact, it’s extremly difficult for the winemakers to cultivate the vine of the different terroirs of the Côte-Rôtie.
We can find two terroirs at Côte-Rôtie: the Côte Blonde on the South composed of gneiss and arzels (clay sands). And the Côte Brune on the North which is composed of micaschists very rich in iron. They are wines recognized for their authenticity, quality and richness that they develop in mouth. Every wine lover owes it to taste a Great Côte Rôtie.
The Côte Rôtie legend
“There is a tenacious legend in Côte-Rotie, according to which the lord of Maugiron, who had two daughters, a blonde and a brunette, bequeathed a “Côte” to each. Thus were born the names of Côte-Blonde and Côte-Brune.”
Here, there are the best vintage of the Côte-Rôtie appellation
Ranking of the vintages by Robert Parker & The Wine Advocate
TOP 1 : DOMAINE E. GUIGAL – LA TURQUE “COTE BRUNE”
Founded in 1946 by Étienne Guigal in Ampuis, the Domaine Guigal owns an incredible vineyard, where vineyards and prestigious wines have been celebrated for about 2400 years. The Guigal estate is run by Marcel and Bernadette Guigal. Phillipe, their son, is the winemaker of the estate.
La Turque is on a silico-limestone soil with micaschists whose alteration gave clay soils, rich in iron oxides, with a yield of 35hl/hectare. The cuvée is 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier. The vines are about 25 years old. Let us now meet this pure wonder. The dress reveals a red/ black/ ruby color with dark reflections. On the nose, small red fruits come to you, cherries, blackberries. A powerful and elegant aromatic intensity. In the mouth, the entrance is made in flexibility, in harmony between the suppleness, the concentration and the fineness of the tannins. This vintage perfectly expresses its terroir, and represents the elite of the great wines of Côte-rôtie. A great wine to keep for 20 years or more depending on the vintage.
Best vintages of Guigal – La Turque: 2005, 2010, 2009, 2003, 1999
TOP 2 : DOMAINE E. GUIGAL – LA LANDONNE
La Landonne is located on a clay-limestone soil, rich in iron oxides, 100% Syrah and the vines are about 35 years old. Very appreciated by the greatest tasters and lovers of great wines, this vintage offers incredible tastings. The color is red/ black with dark reflections. On the nose, we discover notes of black fruits, leather, liquorice and aromas of roasting followed by oriental spices. You will notice the very powerful aromatic intensity. In the mouth, the entrance is of an amazing power with a massive structure of tannins. Rich and concentrated, La Landonne perfectly expresses its terroir, one of the queens of the AOC Côte-rôtie. A wine of great care, which can exceed the 30 years of development, or even more depending on the vintage.
Best vintages of Guigal-La Landonne: 1990, 1999, 2005, 2012, 2010
TOP 3 : DOMAINE E. GUIGAL – LA MOULINE “COTE BLONDE”
The Mouline «Cote Blonde» is composed of terraced vines in the shape of an arena, of Roman amphitheatre. The vines are about 75 years old! It is composed of 89% Syrah and 11% Viognier. A legend of Guigal, a rare pearl for Cote-Roast. This vintage presents a red/ ruby dress with vermilion red reflections. On the nose, one notices small red fruits, ripe, and aromas of violet. On the palate, the entrance is very supple and harmonious. The finesse of the aromas and the explosive richness, due to the concentration, blend perfectly. A rather feminine wine with a voluptuous texture, a silky velvet and very aromatic. Keep it in the cellar for about 15 years before tasting it at its peak.
Best vintages of Guigal- La Mouline: 2005,2010, 2009, 2003, 1999
TOP 4 : DOMAINE STÉPHANE OGIER – CUVÉE BELLE HÉLÈNE
It was in 1997 that Stéphane Ogier joined the family estate, anchored for seven generations on the slopes of Ampuis. In taking over his father Michel Ogier, he began to undertake meticulous work on the different terroirs with the aim of revealing a unique character and personality of his historic sites.
Stéphane Ogier’s La Belle Hélène cuvée is a pure marvel, it is one of the biggest vintages in the area, but also the greatest wines of the AOC Côte-rôtie, a marker of identity of the Côte-Brune. Coming from Syrah, this wine reveals a woody side, a vintage that shows incredible flexibility, the quality of the fruit is admirable. A purple ink colour, followed by notes of pen ink, graphite, forest floor, liquorice and abundant black and blue fruits. It must be kept in the cellar for 5 to 6 years and it can develop for more than 25 years in the best vintages.
Best vintage of La Belle Hélène du Domaine Ogier : 2010, 2009, 1999, 2015, 2012
TOP 5 : RENÉ ROSTAING – CÔTE BLONDE
The Domaine René Rostaing produced the first vintage in 1971. This winery is famous all over the world, especially for its Côte-rôtie: Ampodium – Côte Blonde – La Landonne. An important vineyard in Côte-rôtie with 7 hectares. Each of these “cuvées” has one thing in common: their structure and finesse. The René Rostaing estate produces wines of great renown, however, the main difficulty remains the really limited staff. Difficult to find these wines in France.
The “Côte-Blonde” cuvée is part of the elite of the domain and it is one of the best Côte-Blonde. Quality is brought to a very high level. A remarkable personality that reveals exotic notes, blond tobacco, cinnamon. Floral notes with violet. Refined tannins, an incredible length in the mouth. Here the soil is poor, mineral (mica, silica), filtering, constituting this famous «arzel» coming from the slow decomposition of the shale mother rock. The “cuvée” is composed of 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier. This vintage can develop for 30 years in the best vintages.
Best vintages of the “cuvée” Côte Blonde of René Rostaing : 1999, 2010, 2012, 2003, 1998
TOP 6 : CHAPOUTIER – LA MORDORÉE
Michel Chapoutier, grandson of Marius Chapoutier, and son of Max Chapoutier, buys him the company that was in the shadows at the time. It has built its international reputation thanks to the crus of the Rhône coast of the northern part. He has imposed biodynamic cultivation on his vineyards, since then he markets his wines with the famous label where braille writing has appeared since 1996. Michel Chapoutier has multiplied turnover by twenty in twenty years! He is bold and demanding in terms of production quality.
The “Cuvée” Côte-rôtie “La mordorée” is composed mainly of Syrah with vines aged 60 years. This terroir develops on a soil of chlorite and ferruginous micaschists, mixed in the depressions of loess and earthen veins. The plot holding this vintage is located at the border of the Côte-Blonde. The wines hold an incredible quality, it holds a deep red color, a nose of red fruits and floral notes. We note the raspberry, the touch of violet, an exotic side with spices, notes of black olives, tapenade, then rosemary. Depending on the vintage, the wine can be kept in the cellar for 30 to 60 years.
Best vintage of “La Mordorée” de Chapoutier : 1991, 2015, 2012, 2003, 2009
TOP 7 : DOMAINE STÉPHANE OGIER – LANCEMENT
Stéphane Ogier’s “Lancement” cuvée is made up 100% of Syrah and comes from the southernmost end of the appellation (Côte-Blonde). There are spectacular notes of fruit, sweet notes of berries, bacon, peppers and pheasant notes that flow into a mouth full of sensation and length. Sturdy and incredibly textured, it is a complex wine that develops incredibly well over the years.
Best vintage of Stephane Ogier “Lancement” : 2010, 2009, 2015, 2007, 2011
TOP 8 : DOMAINE E. GUIGAL – CHÂTEAU D’AMPUIS
A wine to keep the Guigal’s house that will keep at least 20 years in the cellar. Another large Cote-Roast, developed from 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier. These are very old vines, they were already planted in the 16th century. The Guigal house produces about 30,000 bottles a year. It is an exceptional wine, a deep and dark dress with purple reflections. On the nose, notes of spices are offered, as well as delicate woody aromas. It is dense expressive and intense. On the palate, you notice that it is a tannic and racy wine.Flavours of prunes are noticed, blackberry and vanilla too. A strong, concentrated and structured mouth.
Best vintages of Guigal “Château d’Ampuis” : 2010, 2015, 2009, 2005, 2003
TOP 9 : JEAN PAUL JAMET – COTE ROTIE “COTE-BRUNE”
Since 1976, the field has developed a lot. Jean-Paul Jamet started to vinify during the 1976 vintage with his father Joseph. Together they developed the work of the vine and wine, but Jean-Paul quickly took the initiative and made the choices. With forty winemaking experiences, he remains convinced that the richness of the wines is precisely that of the terroirs. Away from the successive modes, he opted for the assembly of the different expressions of the Roasted Coast in order to enhance their complementarity. The house produces very great Côte-Rôtie, renowned and sought by wine lovers.
The cuvée “Côte Brune” of the Domaine Jamet is one of the best Côte Rôtie, it’s the only fragmented selection of the Domaine. It emerges en 1976. It’s is a complex wine based on 100% Syrah. It can be kept in cellar from 20 to 30 years depending on the vintage. It has phenomenal notes of black raspberries, blackcurrant, olive tapenade, bacon fat incense. Full-bodied, concentrated and textured.
Best vintages of Jamet “Côte-Brune” : 2011, 2015, 2012, 2014, 2013
TOP 10 : DELAS FRÈRES – LA LANDONNE
Since 1996, the Maison Delas Frères, whose roots go back to 1835, has regained the ambition that contributed to its fame. Under the impetus of the new management, numerous investments were made at the production site of Saint-Jean-de-Muzols, near Tournon-sur-Rhône. A motivated team proudly takes part in the qualitative renewal of this Grande Maison de la Vallée du Rhône. In fact, a winery specially was designed for the vinification of red wines, the complete restructuring of the cellar are among the key elements of the quality approach of the Maison Delas, summarized in one sentence: to perpetuate and enhance the expression of the “Terroir”.
The cuvée “La Landonne” of the Maison Delas is composed. The first vintage was in 1997. This wine is made only on great years. The production exceeds 2500 bottles. An intense color marked by Violin reflections. A complex and deep nose, fruity notes, liquorice and roasting. A broad and generous mouth, with a persistent finish. A very astonishing custody potential.
Best vintages of Delas Frères “La Landonne” : 2015, 2010, 2009, 2006, 1999