domaine rostaing, cote rotie, cote blonde 2016
A fresh bay leaf note leads off, followed quickly by sleek black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors. Light savory, white pepper, olive and singed iron notes underscore the finish. This has serious latent grip, so no rush. Best from 2020 through 2035.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Côte Rôtie La Côte Blonde (from the lieu-dit of the same name—not a blend of sites) is a terrific effort. It blends the structure of la Viallière with the elegance of la Landonne, making it a truly complete and compelling bottle. Some mocha, black olive and meaty notes lend it a savory cast, while the palate is creamy and concentrated, firm but silky. It's medium to full-bodied, with a fine, licorice-tinged finish that lingers a good long time. It should drink well for 20+ years. When I arrived at the domaine, I went in an opened door and came upon René Rostaing, who was putting labels on bottles for shipment to the United States. I told him I had an appointment and he said, "Let me get the boss." We went across the street to the winery building, where he handed me off to his son Pierre, who is fully in charge of the winemaking now. He cranked the ventilation fan up to high so we could taste in the cellars, despite ongoing fermentations above. Following up on his exciting 2015s, both the 2016s and 2017s look similarly outstanding. He's releasing two additional single-vineyard wines (Côte Brune and La Viallière) from the 2016 vintage as an homage to his ancestors, with label designs from the past (Gentaz-Dervieux and Dervieux-Thaize). Of course, quantities are tiny, but not only are the labels retro-cool but the wines are damn good also. (JC)
Lurid purple. Pungent aromas of ripe red berries, potpourri and smoky minerals pick up a spicy nuance as the wine stretches out. Silky and seamless in the mouth, displaying superb clarity to the sappy, mineral-laced black raspberry, boysenberry, candied violet and spicecake flavors. Shows a distinctly finesseful, even Burgundian character and finishes wonderfully long and sweet, with building tannins framing the intense fruit and floral qualities.
Lastly, the 2016 Côte Rôtie Côte Blonde is more seamless and elegant, with a more perfumed, pretty style in its red and black raspberry fruits, crushed flowers, game, violets, and crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, ethereal, seamless, and incredibly polished, it has building tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. Where the La Landonne is all meat and smoke, this is floral and red fruit-driven. Hide bottles for 2-4 years and enjoy over the following 15-20.