Friday, November 12, 2010

The roasted coast

Cote Rotie...we meet too seldomly! 
At my wedding with Birgitte back in 2005, we received a few interesting bottles from the French part of the family. Yesterday we decided to open one of them and the choice was the bottle from Cuilleron who is based in the Cote Rotie of the northern part of the Rhone valley. The wine was a Cote Rotie "Bassenon" 2002. Although the winemaker Yves Cuilleron is mostly known for his excellent whites, his collection of red wines seem to get quite a few positive remarks on the way.

The Bassenon is made from a mix of 90% Syrah and 10% Viognier and stands clear, vivid red in the glass. The nose gives a clear scent of black pepper (the trademark of many Syrah-based wines), sour cherries, some earthy elements with iron in the foreground and a touch of barnyard in the back. In the mouth this wines is first and foremost elegant and gives a good impression of why the Cote Roties are considered the queens of the Rhone valley in contrast to the more masculine Hermitage wines. Considering that 2002 is generally a weak vintage of the Rhone wines, there is still a hint of some ripe black cherries and a complex mix of spices making this wine very compelling. Surely this wines calls for a reintroduction in a more successful vintage. 91p


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