Acker Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Retrospective (1978 - 2005)

NY

Tasted March 8, 2020 by Lord of the Bottles with 114 views

Introduction

Acker put on an interesting vertical of Rene Rostaing's two cuvees, Cote Blonde and La Landonne, with the latter often compared to Guigal's LaLaLas. As I am only an amateur Rhone Ranger and have a better sense of Bordeaux and Burgundy I leapt at the chance.

Flight 1 (14 notes)

Red
2005 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Austere. Mint and earth. Mineral and occasional fruit on a shortish finish. Not a bad wine at all but not my thing.
Red
2005 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
92 points
Earthy forest floor. High acidity with musty fruit. The moderator noted the higher complexity but lower power than the Landonne just tasted, which was obvious. More preferable to my taste but some others preferred the Landonne. 92
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Red
2003 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
93 points
The heat of the vintage showing through, but so does the winemaker's deft in keeping it non-jammy and balanced. Rusty dark fruit. Long finish with some earthy notes. High acidity and still youthful with some secondary notes. I really enjoyed this, some others thought too sweet for the style. 93
Red
2001 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Rusty nail nose, which I actually liked. Minty finish. Very vegetal, almost too much for my palate. Most didn't favour this and would tend to agree. Score withheld as this bottle may not have shown so well.
Red
1999 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
94 points
Perfumed woody nose. One of the best I have smelt. Violets, dark fruit, wood and earthy finish. 93 palate, 95 nose, 94 overall. Lovely wine.
Red
1998 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Rusty fruit thought not a lot of body. Past prime.
Red
1996 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Powerful medicinal nose. Like turpentine. Mushroom taste. Way past prime though not undrinkable.
Red
1996 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Same as '96 Landone just before it. Vintage too old now.
Red
1995 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
92 points
Austere, though with some spice. Earthy, with a nice sage finish. Very balanced if not enough body for me to merit a higher score. 92
Red
1995 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
95 points
Star anise nose. Strawberry, menthol, sage. Rose hip. Medium finish. Contender for my WOTN just missing out to the '78 Landonne by a hair on the finish. 95+
Red
1991 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Dusty leather nose. Leathery taste. Showing the age of the vintage. Some liked it but not to my taste.
Red
1990 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
95 points
Surprisingly youthful for a 30 year wine. Shows the power of the vintage well. Stewed fruit. Menthol finish. Nicely balanced. 94-95
Red
1983 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
92 points
Old library nose. Some fruit, if seems less than Richard’s note from 2016. Lovely lavendar finish. Reminds me more of a top Bordeaux from that era. 92-93 drink now
Red
1978 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
96 points
I suppose other tasters below had off bottles but this was a tremendous way to finish the evening and my (and many others’) WOTN. Iodine nose, though not punchy. Waves of strawberry fruit and a long menthol finish. Some lavendar like the ‘83 just before it. Very smooth. One of the best older wines I have had the pleasure of tasting but at this age clearly bottle-dependent. 95-96

Closing

Rostaing's wines, made in the classical style, can be magical but need many years of ageing to really be appreciated, unlike many of the more modern styles. My WOTN was the 1978 Landonne, closely followed by a tie between the 1990 Blonde and 1995 Blonde, which was followed by the 1983 Landonne and 1999 Blonde. My other takeaway is that the younger Blondes fared better than the younger Landonne's, as the fruit and power of the former is appreciable at an earlier age, but for the real magic it is the Landonne, which made even a 'modernist' like me appreciate the complexity of 20-30 year old Syrah that doesn't need a lot of fruit to grab you and make you reflect. Bravo Rene!

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