Patrick et Christophe Bonnefond, Colline de Couzou, AOC/AOP Cote Rotie, Northern Rhone, France, 2008
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.
This wine: from a 6ha domaine vineyard on the windy plateau above Ampuis, a blend of 98% syrah with viognier, fermented in stainless steel, aged in 40% new oak for 18 months; natural cork closure, 13% abv, 375ml, Vinophilie, €18
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity garnet, showing tears.
Nose: clean the nose, medium (+) intensity, developing, with opening aromas of meat and barnyard, then black berry and black cherry, ripe red plum, sweet spice – cinnamon and clove, deep red floral peony, black pepper, liquorice, toast and smoke, dark chocolate.
Palate: a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium alcohol, and a medium body, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of spiced red plum, black berry and black cherry, sweet spice, toast, smoke and sweet liquorice. A medium (+) length with a black and fruit finish, rounded with liquorice, and some bitterness on the end.
Quality: A good quality wine, with balanced acidity with tannins and alcohol, harmonious with the decent flavour intensity. Showing some tertiary development with meaty, gamey and chocolatey notes, with decent complexity and concentration, and a modest length – but nothing outstanding, and marred by bitterness on the finish.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready now, not suitable for further ageing – the balance is there, with some complexity, but neither concentration nor length are great. Will keep for a couple of years.