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Côte Rôtie La Landonne, Domaine René Rostaing 2003

Tasting Notes

Revealing more structure and definition than the regular bottling, the 2003 Cote Rotie La Landonne offers more scorched earth, camphor, blackberry, and roasted meat characteristics. Last year this cuvee displayed no acidity, but that is not the case from bottle (perhaps the use of 50% stems helped). Rostaing admits that analytically, there is practically no acid in this wine, so it will age on its extraordinary extract and richness. This blockbuster should drink well young, yet age for 12-15 years.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (163), February 2006

One hundred percent stems were used in the vinification of the 2003 Cote Rotie La Landonne. A dense black/purple color is followed by an extraordinary nose of scorched earth, charcoal, minerals, blackberries, and chocolatey espresso-like aromas. The roasted character of the fruit is apparent, along with magnificent concentration in addition to amazing freshness and astonishing delineation given the fact that analytically, there is virtually no acid. This huge effort requires 3-4 years of cellaring and should be drunk over the following 14-16. It may last even longer; there is simply no reference point for vintages such as this.

Rostaing told me that in 2003 he only produced 40% of his normal crop, and even more bizarre, he began the harvest on August 21st. Virtually everything in his cellar is over 14% alcohol. One of France’s top sources of Cote Rotie, Rostaing’s intelligent policy about upbringing in both barrels and demi-muids as well as his flexibility about racking and filtration reflect his meticulousness at all stages of winemaking. He did refuse to acidify in 2003 despite extremely low levels of acidity and high pH’s, but he said that actual acidities seemed to go up at the end of fermentation since there seemed to be more acid trapped in the interior of the grapes than in the skins. This is a great vintage for Rostaing, even more exotic and richer than his 1999s.

P.S. By the way, if you cannot afford or find Rostaing’s Cote Roties, he owns 30 acres of vineyards in the Coteaux du Languedoc and his soft, fleshy 2003 Pech-Chaud (a blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Grenache) is very Cote Rotie-like. It is ideal for drinking during its first 3-4 years of life.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (156), December 2004
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.