I was able to taste numerous barrel samples of the 2018 Côte Rôtie, all rating between 95 and 99 points, which is a good sign! Most barrels were not destemmed and all the samples displayed inky colors, beautiful purity of fruit, classic Jamet style and complexity, and building tannins. Is this a remake of 1999? It has more upfront charm than the Côte Brune, but as with all great vintages of Jamet, 5-7 years of bottle age are rewarded.
It's never easy to prognosticate how the final assemblage will turn out, but I tasted eight different lots of the 2018 Cote Rotie, the least of which I rated (92 - 94), with some as high as (95 - 97). Overall, the wines are very ripe (le Plomb clocks in at over 15% alcohol), with supple tannins but also adequate freshness. Together, the result should be a full-bodied, rich yet lively wine, with notes of violets, hickory smoke, black olives and cassis. Based on past experience, I'd expect this wine to look firmer out of bottle than it does presently, with two decades or more of cellaring possible. 2025 - 2040.
Cask samples tasted at the domaine.
Sample cuvée 1: Les Ardes and Collet.
Peppery, herbal, silky, blackcurrant. Lots of core fruit. Tarry aftertaste, medium body. Needs more mid-palate weight – a good argument for blending! Minty length.
Sample cuvée 2: Garines.
Herbal, floral, vegetal. Compelling green-herby note. Super-fine tannin with black-cherry fruit on the finish. Such fragrance!
Sample cuvée 3: Fongeant, Chavaroche.
Lots of floral scent. Succulent, light, delicate. Bone china: transparent. By itself, incomplete, but the fragrance is beautiful.
Sample cuvée 4: Garine, Côte Blonde and Moutonne.
Herby, dark fruits, rich and meaty. Tar and violet. Almost Nebbiolo-esque? Certainly very savoury. Full and rich. Excellent length with fine tannic fuzz.
Sample cuvée 5: Boudin and Lézards.
Coffee, vegetal, meaty aromas. Substantial tannin giving sandy grip. Lengthy cooked fruit on the finish.
Sample cuvée 6: Landonne.
Vegetal herby notes with black cherry, coffee, dark chocolate, olive and leather. Fibrous tannin. Lots of density here.
Darker in fruit profile with a lick of black olive, this carries the ripeness of the vintage well on the nose. The palate is slicker and fuller than normal, plump and round in a way that loses just a bit of the edginess that makes Jamet so unique. A big wine for this estate but still very enjoyable with enough aromatic X factor. (TP)
Drink 2024 – 2038