Domaine Rene Rostaing 2017 Cote-Rotie, Cote Blonde, AOC
Item Number: 13688
Sub Region: Northern Rhone
Appellation/AVA: Cote-Rotie AOC
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vineyard Designation: Côte Blonde
Grape(s): 98% Syrah / 2% Viognier
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 14.5
Soil Type: Arzel composed of limestone, sand, schist and granite
John Livingstone-Learmonth, who has studied Côte-Rôtie intimately for four decades and published four books on Rhône wines, writes that he expects "greater liaison between Côte-Rôtie and Burgundy than I do between Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage." The term he chooses to describe Rostaing’s wines is Burgundian. The Rostaing wine that best fits this description is his Côte Blonde, whose magical intensity without heaviness calls to mind the Côte de Nuits' finest grands crus. In fact, Rostaing himself told Livingstone-Learmonth that he regards the Côte Blonde lieu-dit as "the Chambertin of Côte-Rôtie."
Vine Age: 40+ years old
Winemaking Notes: Rostaing adapts his methods to the vintage. Grapes are manually harvested and generally not destemmed (10% max). Maceration lasts for around two weeks. He employs roto-fermenters, but only so he can break up the must, not to shorten macerations; the goal is to extract but keep the finesse. During maceration, the roto-fermenter turns about once every two or three days. Fermentation lasts another two weeks. When fermentation is very active, the roto-fermenter turns about 6 times a day. When it is less active, it turns less. All the Côte Rôties are aged in a mix of 225 and 500 liter barrels (about 10-15% new). The new wood remains minimal, so that it does not interfere with the terroir nor alter the fruit purity. The wine is bottled without fining or filtering.
Vintage Notes: 2017 is the third successive “great” vintage in an appellation that was once lucky to have 2 top vintages per decade.
Vintage Notes by Wine Advocate 12/2019: "The (mostly) bottled 2017s come across as more tannic and muscular than the 2016s, a difference Rostaing attributes to yields that were about 15% to 20% lower than the preceding vintage. The top wines should easily last for two decades. Finally, don't neglect the IGP and Languedoc offerings being made by Rostaing. Sure, by comparison to the family's top offerings from Côte Rôtie, they're mere teases, but they're tasty, fun-to-drink wines that typically sell for realistic prices."
(97-99)pts (2018 Vintage) Wine Advocate 12/19/2019
"The most tannic of the "big three" bottlings this year, the 2018 Cote Rotie la Cote Blonde features elegant hints of mixed herbs entwined around bold boysenberry fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, with plentiful fine-grained tannins that firm up on the long finish. Embryonic, but oh so promising, it should blossom in another five years or so."