COTE ROTIE

Côte-Rôtie offers Syrah’s most elegant and stylish expression. I turn to it when I want a little more power than red Burgundy but not something ‘big’. If I want a richer offering in the Northern Rhône I turn to Hermitage which is full of weight and muscle, or to Cornas which has a more rustic, but complex and satisfying taste. 

Côte-Rôtie is also the style and weight that my wife – who for reds usually wants Burgundy – will join me in drinking, so it is also my practical choice! ;-)

First, let me tell you briefly why this is the case, and then give you a little bit of guidance on producers and vintages to select.

While the Southern Rhône covers a large area, the Northern Rhône is a long slender region following the Rhône river from Vienne (not far below Lyon) down to Valence. It’s basically a north-south path. Côte-Rôtie (and Condrieu – which makes my wife’s favourite white!) are at the northernmost limit, and from here it’s a full 60km south to reach Hermitage. So, Côte-Rôtie is cooler, giving more elegance

To mitigate this coolness, vines are grown on steep terraces of (mostly) schist, facing south or southeast (Côte-Rôtie translates to “roasted slope”). Because of the need for these slopes, in the end Côte-Rôtie is a small appellation – just 224ha (half the size of Gevrey-Chambertin) meaning the producers are a pretty exclusive club, and quality is generally high.

Côte-Rôtie is often distinguished for its fine perfume – even in youth (you can usually drink these younger than Hermitage, some even after 3-4 years from harvest). There is also a little secret sauce available to the vignerons here – you can make a 100% Syrah Côte-Rôtie, but you can also add up to 20% Viognier (the white grape that makes Condrieu, next door). This can add – I feel – both an exotic element to the nose, and a certain creaminess on the palate, that is attractive in youth.

Which brings me neatly to Côte-Rôtie’s most famous exponent – Maison E. Guigal, and their top three cuvées – the so-called “La-Las” – La Mouline, La Turque, and La Landonne. I love to pick the cheapest mature vintage when I have the chance, from any of these, because a bad one has never been made under any of these three labels, and they age brilliantly. It’s also hard to over-estimate how much Côte-Rôtie owes to Etienne, and then Marcel Guigal for creating such brilliant wines and bringing them (and Côte-Rôtie with them) to world attention, especially in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when so many were awarded 100 point scores and review from Robert Parker more gushing than even the wines themselves. Rather uniquely the wines are aged 42 months in new oak, but in my experience the wines swallow this up about as well as Jayer’s wines did (i.e. very well), you just need to give them a bit more time in the cellar (10+ years from vintage, but I often prefer them at 20+), and a bit longer in the decanter (over an hour unless over 30 years of age). But they can be mesmerising. 

La Mouline (since 1966), is hard not to love. It’s a little more voluptuous, and headily aromatic. From a lieu-dit in Côte Blonde, this is a great example of a smart use of Viognier – 11% of the blend typically – and as such I find it easier to choose when the vintages on offer are younger (e.g. restaurant list). La Turque – 7% Viognier and from Côte Brune – can sometimes get overlooked between the two styles book-ends of the other two, but it can offer amazing delicacy and fragrance when mature. La Landonne – is 100% Syrah from Côte Brune, and I love it for its iron-blood-rich Syrah purity and amazing minerality. But it’s a bit surly when young. This one is my pick when old vintages are on offer, and it is also the longest lived. The first vintage – 1978 – is still going strong. 

For great value, and for a more contemporary take on Côte-Rôtie, really emphasizing its elegance, I’m a fan of Domaine Georges Vernay. Georges was, as you may know, the great champion of Condrieu. His daughter Christine took over in 1996, and – while keeping her father’s traditions for great whites – has complemented these with beautiful reds. The Côte-Rôtie cuvée ‘Blonde du Seigneur’ is actually my go-to wine when my wife and I drink Côte-Rôtie at home. In one sense it follows the Guigal secret sauce (it has 8% Viognier which lifts the wine aromatically), but it is also really accessible when young, with lovely tender fruit, and softer tannins. Fruit-wise it is at the redder end of the Syrah spectrum. Delicious. Their other Côte-Rotie cuvée ‘Maison Rouge’, from very old (50+) vines in a single plot, is more red+black fruit, has a bit more muscle and weight, but still with Côte-Rôtie’s elegance. 

Recently I drank a bottle of 2016 Côte-Rôtie ‘Terrasses’ from Jean-Luc Jamet, and I was thrilled by it. So much fruit, fragrance and a lovely balance between succulent red fruit and Syrah meatiness. This wine epitomized elegance, with very moderate alcohol. We have a small parcel on its way of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 of this. The quality for price is amazing. Jean-Luc, with his brother Jean-Paul ran Domaine Jamet until 2013 when they split the domaine’s land (and Jean-Paul kept ‘Domaine Jamet’). We also have a little Domaine Jamet, who make the real classic style Côte-Rôtie – quite different to the ‘modern’ style of Guigal. Jamet blends a collection of lieux-dits from across Côte-Rôtie to make a representative blend, whole-bunch fermented, and aged in mostly older large oak. (You could say the opposite approach to Guigal). There is also a very rare single plot bottling labelled ‘Côte Brune’. Jean-Luc Jamet’s wine uses a bit less whole bunch – at around 30-35% - I find it easier to appreciate younger. We are also delighted to be working with up and coming Northern Rhône producer Jean-Baptiste Souillard, who from a tiny plot makes an elegant Côte-Rôtie with a high proportion of whole bunches fruit.

René Rostaing is another vigneron I consider in the classical camp. He began in 1971 part time. Ever wondered what happened to the now near-mythical Gentaz-Dervieux estate? The land went here in the ‘90s and Rostaing was able to go full-time. There are five wines produced here from Côte-Rôtie, but I’ll focus on the three we have available today – ‘Côte Blonde’, is the one the connoisseurs scamper after. 5% Viognier, and only 10% new oak. Only about 350 cases a year. It’s a particularly fine example of refined classic Côte-Rôtie. And, much like the contrast we see at Guigal between ‘La Mouline’ and ‘La Landonne’, here with Rostaing’s ‘La Landonne’ we see a 100% Syrah, with a more bloody-meaty sort of tone, deep and brooding and long-ageing. It’s a great wine, but not for young drinking. ‘Côte Brune’ is something new in the range. It began with vintage 2013, is 100% Syrah, and comes from Marius Gentaz land, replanted in 2000. Speaking of Marius Gentaz, we have something in stock that I have not seen in close to a decade - the now almost mythological wines made by Marius himself - 1980 was an elegant year, while 1983 was hot and gave a more powerful muscular style. I put Marius’s contribution right up there with people like Henri Jayer. He lifted the whole game. Yes, these are now very expensive, but if you are curious, it may be a few more years before you see one again.

So finally, if you are a Burgundy lover, but looking over your shoulder, may I suggest a dabble in Côte-Rôtie? If there’s a Burgundy-lover’s Syrah, this is it. And, if you have found Châteauneuf-du-Pape, or even Hermitage a bit too powerful in style, but don’t want to give up on the Rhône just yet, this is your pick too

Filter By
WA
85-87
Vintage Wine Bottle Size Unit of sale Qty of unit Qty of btl Btl price (HKD) Score Location
2018 Delas Freres - Cote Rotie 'La Landonne' 750 Bottle 1 1 1,300 - HK
2017 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur' 750 Bottle 43 43 650 - HK
2017 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur' 750 Bottle 3 3 650 - SHOP
2018 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur' 750 Bottle 58 58 650 - HK
2019 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur' 750 Bottle 117 117 650 - HK
2020 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur' 750 Bottle 107 107 650 - HK
2021 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur' 750 Bottle 84 84 650 - HK
2019 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Maison Rouge' 750 Bottle 28 28 1,080 - HK
2019 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Maison Rouge' 750 Bottle 3 3 1,080 - SHOP
2020 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Maison Rouge' 750 Bottle 48 48 1,080 - HK
2021 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Maison Rouge' 750 Bottle 36 36 1,080 - HK
1995 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 1 1 6,500 WA92 SHOP
1997 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 2 2 5,500 WA89 HK
1997 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 3 3 5,500 WA89 SHOP
1998 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 7 7 5,500 WA93 HK
1998 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 2 2 5,500 WA93 SHOP
1999 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 2 2 6,000 WA97 HK
1999 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 OC6 1 6 6,000 WA97 HK
1999 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 4 4 6,000 WA97 SHOP
2002 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 2 2 3,800 - HK
2002 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 3 3 3,800 - SHOP
2003 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 2 2 3,500 WA94 SHOP
2006 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 2 2 3,500 WA92 HK
2006 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 1500 Bottle 1 1 7,500 WA92 SHOP
2007 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie 750 Bottle 1 1 2,800 WA85-87 HK
2018 Delas Freres - Cote Rotie 'La Landonne'
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 1,300 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
1,300
Score
-
Location
HK
2017 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur'
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 650 / BTL 43 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
43
Qty of btl
43
Btl price (HKD)
650
Score
-
Location
HK
2017 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur'
750 ml Bottle SHOP HKD 650 / BTL 3 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
3
Btl price (HKD)
650
Score
-
Location
SHOP
2018 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur'
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 650 / BTL 58 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
58
Qty of btl
58
Btl price (HKD)
650
Score
-
Location
HK
2019 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur'
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 650 / BTL 117 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
117
Qty of btl
117
Btl price (HKD)
650
Score
-
Location
HK
2020 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur'
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 650 / BTL 107 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
107
Qty of btl
107
Btl price (HKD)
650
Score
-
Location
HK
2021 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Blonde du Seigneur'
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 650 / BTL 84 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
84
Qty of btl
84
Btl price (HKD)
650
Score
-
Location
HK
2019 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Maison Rouge'
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 1,080 / BTL 28 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
28
Qty of btl
28
Btl price (HKD)
1,080
Score
-
Location
HK
2019 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Maison Rouge'
750 ml Bottle SHOP HKD 1,080 / BTL 3 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
3
Btl price (HKD)
1,080
Score
-
Location
SHOP
2020 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Maison Rouge'
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 1,080 / BTL 48 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
48
Qty of btl
48
Btl price (HKD)
1,080
Score
-
Location
HK
2021 Domaine Georges Vernay - Cote Rotie 'Maison Rouge'
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 1,080 / BTL 36 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
36
Qty of btl
36
Btl price (HKD)
1,080
Score
-
Location
HK
1995 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle SHOP HKD 6,500 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
6,500
Score
WA92
Location
SHOP
1997 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 5,500 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
WA89
Location
HK
1997 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle SHOP HKD 5,500 / BTL 3 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
3
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
WA89
Location
SHOP
1998 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 5,500 / BTL 7 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
7
Qty of btl
7
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
WA93
Location
HK
1998 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle SHOP HKD 5,500 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
WA93
Location
SHOP
1999 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 6,000 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
6,000
Score
WA97
Location
HK
1999 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml OC6 HK HKD 6,000 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
6
Btl price (HKD)
6,000
Score
WA97
Location
HK
1999 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle SHOP HKD 6,000 / BTL 4 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
4
Qty of btl
4
Btl price (HKD)
6,000
Score
WA97
Location
SHOP
2002 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 3,800 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
3,800
Score
-
Location
HK
2002 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle SHOP HKD 3,800 / BTL 3 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
3
Btl price (HKD)
3,800
Score
-
Location
SHOP
2003 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle SHOP HKD 3,500 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
3,500
Score
WA94
Location
SHOP
2006 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 3,500 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
3,500
Score
WA92
Location
HK
2006 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
1500 ml Bottle SHOP HKD 7,500 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
7,500
Score
WA92
Location
SHOP
2007 Domaine Jamet - Cote Rotie
750 ml Bottle HK HKD 2,800 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
2,800
Score
WA85-87
Location
HK
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HK-Shop / available for in-store purchase in Sai Ying Pun.
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En-Primeur / wines still in chateau; will arrange delivery to once wine is received in HK