Following my white Burgundy, Richard supplied a red wine from about 150 miles further south, namely the Cote Rotie in the northern Rhone. We have blogged this before but it was great to rekindle an old flame.
The ‘roasted slope’, centred on the left bank town of Ampuis, has south-east facing vineyards that rise vertiginously, sometimes with as much as 60% incline. This makes working the granite based soils very difficult and there is often only two or three vines in the width of the terracing. The slope does get ‘roasted’ but can produce some very fine Syrahs, delicate and perfumed, rather than the heavier styles – although it can produce those as well.
Cote Rotie ‘Ampodium’ 2010 from Rostaing has an ABV of 13.5% and is pure Syrah. The medium intense ruby colour was lighter than I expected. The nose I can best describe as smelling a raspberry-ripple ice cream – all vanilla and light red fruits. There was a warm, comforting feeling about this smell (probably thanks to the vanilla) but little of the expected pepper. The delicate notes changed to blueberry as it sat in the glass. The mouth feel, as Richard stated, had an attractive leanness and purity helped by the acidity which was maintained throughout. I had an immediate flavour of almonds but this did not last. The relative youth of the wine came through in all the attractive fruit but this was underscored with the maturing notes of vanilla; its tannins were present but not obtrusive. This was a really enjoyable wine which will go on for a few years yet.
[Richard: interesting that the white pepper nose Geoff remarked on two years ago has, for him, vanished. I thought it was still there, but only just. Age or bottle variation – who knows? Check back here in 2018. Still a lovely balanced wine – and my favourite syrah – though I marginally preferred it on first tasting.]