September 20, 2020 - Aging beautifully, at 21 years old, this stunner has it all. The nose, with its flowers, smoke, thyme, spice, herbs, crushed rock, pepper and ripe red berry nose gets things off to a good start. On the palate, it’s even better. It’s balanced between fresh, racy pure red fruits and silky, opulent lifted textures that stick and expand. This is a thinking mans sexy wine.
June 28, 2020 - I've enjoyed several bottles of Rostaing's 1999 Côte Blonde over the years, and each and every one has shown a consistency in the soaring aromatics that fill the room with notes of cherry, blueberry, violet, coffee, and olive. Darker fruit on the palate is underpinned by a killer minerality. The once-formidible tannins are soft yielding a plush, silky texture. Excellent and should continue to drink well through 2035.
June 11, 2020 - My 700th post: 1999 Northern Rhone Tasting along with 67 Pall Mall Philippe Guigal Masterclass (Line up: E.Guigal La Landonne '99, E.Guigal La Mouline '99. E.Guigal La Turque '99, Chateau d'Ampuis '99, Rene Rostaing Cote Blonde '99, Rene Rostaing La Landonne '99): Being an epic night, I had to make this my 700th post. And it seems that someone had crashed a very memorable E.Guigal evening, with all the 1999 LaLas strutting their prowess.
The 1999 Rostaing Cote Blonde was incredible on all fronts, including best bouquet and longest finish. Nose of cassis, liquorice-drenched flowers, violets, whiff of lavender, olives - hedonistic and captivating. Mind blowing palate of black fruits, blue fruits, cured meats, leather, black olives, dried herbs. Complex, exotic and super balanced and harmonious at the same time. This was like attending a rock concert of a legendary band and have another guest legendary band come on the encore. Simply brilliant and amazing. WOTN
March 8, 2020 - Acker Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Retrospective (1978 - 2005) (NY): 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.
October 22, 2019 - Rhone Commanderie dinner (Little Park): I continue to be a believer in these wines. It's just really good. Someone mentioned there's almost a spritziness to the wine and that is true. It is brooding and dark and yet somehow with the texture there's a bit of lightness which I think is partially acid but could be almost a spritz as well. Get the iron and blood-like characteristics although it's prob more dark fruit as the primary note. Still quite young with lots of time. Delicious.
September 1, 2019 - Medium ruby center with fading rim. The first impression right out of the bottle was frankly unimpressive-rather harsh fennel and black olive with little fruit or feel, but a few hours in a decanter proved me to be excessively pessimistic. It took this long for the aromatics to soften toward a cooler menthol aspect and for wonderfully spicy blueberry fruit to emerge, accompanied by a citrus peel topnote. This is surely not an overripe, gloppy example of this ripe vintage, with excellent acidity and minerality balancing pleasing sappiness. If there any critique to be leveled, it is only that there were never the telltale bacony, grilled meat notes of Côte Rotie, but this is a wonderful Syrah with healthy, vigorous fruit and excellent complexity at this stage of its life.
August 24, 2019 - A stunning nose redolent of black cherry, anise, game, and black olive. Interestingly, as with my last bottle four years ago, this initially showed some Brett that oddly diminished, not strengthened, with air. Suave and sensual on the palate, effortless finesse with no perceptible weight to the gamey, mineral-laden, dark-fruited flavors. The 1999 Côte Blonde is excellent. Drink now through 2034.
June 22, 2019 - Dinner@BA: Blind. Gorgeous northern Rhône Syrah nose with that little extra floral, fragrant lift of CR. Meaty, nuanced, and really just very lovely. The black fruit of a previous bottle has mellowed to dark red and it’s complex, nuanced and long. Super wine. *****
February 3, 2019 - Super Bowl 2019 (Alpharetta, GA): Dark core with garnet rim; leather, black olive, some black pepper, compost; intense on palate, lots of fruit, leather, firm tannin, still quite pent up, very Syrah; called '99 Clape; 94+.
November 8, 2018 - A Special 40th Anniversary Celebration (Restaurant Daniel, New York City): I just couldn't get past the substantial VA here, which marred the underlying core of red fruit and pepper for me.