Gilles Barge, Cote Brune AOC/AOP Cote Rotie, Ampuis, Rhone, France, 2009
Cote Rotie is a syrah-based wine, which can be varietal, though up to 20% viognier is permitted; but if used, it must be in a co-fermented blend. Cote Rotie is divided into two parts according to soil type. Cote Brune, or the brown slope, is on dark, iron-rich schist; and the Cote Blonde, or the pale slope, is on pale coloured granite and schist.
Natural cork closure, 12.5% abv, DBM Wines, £40 inc vat.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean the nose, of medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas of high-toned black cherry, kirsch, sweet squashy blackberry, violets, smoky, preserved plums, with a hint of dark chocolate, earthiness and the merest hint of vanilla.
Palate: a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, medium fine-grained well-integrated tannins, medium alcohol and body, medium (+) intensity, showing a smooth texture, with flavours of ripe black cherry, blackberry boiled sweets and bilberry. A long length of black berry and sweet black cherry with a clean lightly grippy finish.
Quality: A very good quality wine, well structured and rounded, with acidity to balance the intensity of flavour. Smooth well-integrated tannins; there is some development showing, with rich brooding notes of dark chocolate, boiled sweets and smoke, with a good level of flavour intensity, with more complexity on the promising nose. The length is long and flavoursome, this wine is ready to drink and will improve over the next 3-5 years.