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Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie Ampodium 2013

Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie Ampodium 2013

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"Bright purple. Intense floral pastille, dark berry and peppery spice scents on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy, incisive and pure, showing strong thrust and cut to the gently sweet black raspberry and cherry cola flavors. A smoky mineral quality adds lift to the floral-tinged finish, which lingers with excellent tenacity. Drinking window: 2020-2026. 92 points

Because of the frighteningly low yields (40% of normal) at Côte-Rôtie in 2014, René Rostaing opted to make a single bottling, his entry-level Ampodium, but "not because of a lack of quality," he said. "On the contrary, it's a very good vintage," one that he compares to 2006. To illustrate his point, Rostaing opened a bottle of his '06 Côte Blonde at the conclusion of our tasting. It is showing impressive finesse and detail, displaying lively red and dark berry character and suave finishing florality. It's just hitting its drinking window, in my opinion, but Rostaing says it's fully ready to drink, adding that he has "always preferred to err on the side of youth when drinking any red wine. When they get old, even if they're from a great terroir and a great vintage, they've mostly lost their distinction and just taste like really good aged red wine." When I reminded him that he told me the same thing when I first visited here in July 1989, he laughed and said that he likes to be consistent and isn't quick to change his opinions. He also pointed out that "7%, maybe 8% new oak is the rule here, and no oak for Condrieu, because the goal is purity and elegance, and wood is a distraction.""

Josh Raynolds, Vinous (03/16)