Cote Rotie Producers
Rhone Valley Wine Cote Rotie Wine Guide, and producer listings with links to pages on every important property in the Cote Rotie appellation with wine tasting notes, histories of the properties, images, technical information and Cote Rotie buying tips along with detailed map of Cote Rotie with all the major and small vineyards in the Cote Rotie appellation.
Cote Rotie is perhaps one of the most, elegant, seductive wines in the world. At their best, they offer depth of flavors and complex aromatics including bacon fat, black & red fruits, mineral, earth and floral scents. They are medium to full bodied wines with sensuous textures that caress the palate with exotic sensations.
Cote Rotie is a small appellation in the Northern Rhone Valley. There are only 497 acres in the entire region. Cote Rotie is translated into the roasted hilltops. Cote Rotie is the northern most appellation in the Rhone Valley. It’s less than half an hour from Lyon just over the small village of Ampuis, not more than 30 miles north of Hermitage . The best Cote Rotie vineyards are situated on steep, rocky inclines with a south or south eastern exposure. The terroir of the region makes it difficult to grow vines. The vines need to be able to withstand the wind and natural erosion of the mountainous inclines. The appellation’s vines are planted and trained to help withstand the twin local dangers of high winds and soil erosion. It’s backbreaking work for the vineyard workers and harvesters, due to the incredibly steep hills.
As a wine production area, there is a long history in the region. The ancient Romans are known to have planted vines in the area. The top producers of Cote Rotie are generally speaking, small, family owned domains. Guigal and Chapoutier are the only large wineries in the appellation. The production of Chapoutier is dwarfed by that of Guigal.
The best terroir is located on the slopes and the two tall hills with steep elevations of Cote Blonde and Cote Brune. Cote Blonde has sand, granite and limestone soils, while Cote Brune offers more clay and iron. Cote Blonde is located slightly south of Cote Brine. These difference in terroir explain the power and more masculine style of Cote Roite from the Cote Brune, versus the opulent, lush qualities found in Cote Blonde wines.
Syrah is the only red grape allowed in the region. Some producers include a portion of Viognier in their wine, which adds floral scents and exotic textures. More Viognier is found on Cote Blonde than Cote Brune. Cote Rotie, and the nearby appellation of Condrieu is the true home of Viognier.
Some of the top Cote Rotie producers use 100% new oak, Guigal with its famous trio of La La wines, La Mouline, La Turque and La Landonne as well as the special cuvee from Ogier Belle Helene. Other top producers use closer to 50% or less new oak.
Cote Rotie ages very well, but it is not a fun wine to drink young. They need a decade or more before displaying their charms. Cote Rotie can be difficult to find as the wines are produced in microscopic amounts and the demand can be quite strong. A 1,000 case production is considered huge! Most producers bottle under 500 cases for the world, making it almost impossible to find older vintages.
The top recent vintages of Cote Rotie are 2009, 2007, 2003, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1995, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1985, and 1978. 2009, 2003 and 1999 are vintages of historic quality. If you’re seeking vintages with some age that offer good price to value rations, look for 1998 and 1997, both vintages are good and they sell for prices that are below their level of quality.
Guigal is the number one name synonomous with Cote Rotie. Not only are the top wines from Guigal the top wines of the region, it is in large part, thanks to Etinee Guigal that the wines of Cote Rote have earned the worldwide fame they enjoy today. Prior to Guigal’s accession in Cote Rotie, while the wines by some producers were good, there was very little demand. Today, that is not the case.