Lurid violet color. Assertive blackberry, licorice pastille, smoky bacon and potpourri scents are complemented by a strong mineral overlay. Seamless and broad in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated black and blue fruit liqueur, cola and floral pastille flavors and a strong jolt of exotic spices. Finishes with repeating mineral, smoke and dark fruit character, with noticeable but well-knit tannins and superb tenacity.
The 2015 Côte Rôtie was scheduled to be bottled not long after my visit. This is an undeniably great vintage at this address, even if Jean-Paul prefers his 2016s, calling 2015 “too much.” It’s worth pointing out that he thought the same about his 1991, which is a borderline perfect wine today. The 2015 sports a deep ruby/purple color to go with searing notes of pepper, smoked meats, flowers, and assorted black and blue fruits. With full-bodied richness, a concentrated, thick mid-palate, sweet, yet present tannin, and a huge finish, this is a wine to back up the truck for. A warning, however – it’s not for those looking for instant gratification.
100% whole bunch. The final assemblage will be done just before bottling either Sep 2017 or early 2018. Samples below tasted by vineyard component:
Young vines from Les Lezards. They suffered a little from drought but ‘the result is encouraging’, says Jean-Paul.
Very deep crimson. Great depth and race. Lots of sinew and matter. You really wouldn’t know this was young-vine wine. This was the only parcel he destemmed, 'because the grapes were traumatised so the stems weren’t perfect'. 17
Gerine. All whole bunch. The elegant lieu-dit - 'brings charm and even in 2015 it was elegant'.
Violets and raciness. Very transparent and lively. You could drink this now! Long. 18 Drink 2019-30
A pre-assemblage of Moutonne, Côte Baudin, Leyat, Chavaroche.
Very dark purple. Dense, sweet and spicy. Lots of tannins. A little bit of bitterness on the end from the stems. Serious stuff. 18 Drink 2025-38
Le Plomb and Fongeant. Le Plomb is always massive apparently.
Not much nose but masses of mass and lots of tannin. All muscle. 18 ++ Drink 2029-40
A pre-assemblage of Landonne, Côte Blonde, Côte Rozier.
Lots of fruit and charm with very obvious Côte Rôtie character. Classic Côte Rôtie, I say. But not classic 2015, he says, with pleasure! 18.5+ Drink 2024-35
Savoury, fully ripe northern Rhône Syrah on the nose. Brooding and peppery. Tannins only on the end. No dryness. 18.5++ Drink 2026-39
The 2015 Cote Rotie was scheduled to be bottled the day after my visit, so I tasted the final blend from tank. Jean-Paul describes the vintage as a cross between 2009 and 2010, adding that "as it's aged, it's gotten less broad and longer." The warmth of the year hasn't detracted from the wine's floral aromas, and the berry fruit is still fresh but concentrated. This medium to full-bodied wine is rich and tannic but also ripe and almost creamy on the mid-palate, finishing with hints of tapenade. It should begin to drink well by age 10, although it's far from unapproachable now. 2025 - 2040
Quite opposite to the 2016, the 2015 is open-knit and very savoury. Game, ripe red and black fruits and smoked bacon all show on the nose. The palate has admirable freshness but the fruit has a softer, rounder feel. The tannins are already melting into the wine, adding to the generous, silken mouthfeel. Finely balanced and moreish, a delicious example that can be drunk now but has great persistence for further ageing. (TP)
Drink 2020 – 2035