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  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2012 Côte-Rôtie Promesse

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Côte-Rôtie
    Promesse

    $44

    The Guide Bettane et Desseauve gave this wine a commendable 15/20 rating. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, it’s raised 13 months in new oak barrels.

    • Freshly picked strawberries rolled in white pepper on the nose. On the palate, this wine has more spice than fruit but as the wine ages more fruit will pop out. For now, plenty of pepper and nutmeg lingers on the finish.

      Food pairing: Steak

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2011 Côte-Rôtie

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2011 Côte-Rôtie
     

    $44

    Pichon’s Côte-Rôtie is lighter and more elegant than Côte-Rôties from other producers. Made with Syrah and Viognier grapes from 30-to-40-year-old vines, then raised 13 months in 75% new oak, this is a sumptuous, full-bodied Rhône that ages slowly.

    • Toasty oak and blackberry aromas on the nose are prominent elements on the palate as well, joined by truffles, dark chocolate, and background floral notes. Dense, with a chewy texture and muscular tannins, this full-bodied strongman needs time. Likely to be approachable from 2017–2019.

      Food pairing: Game, juicy steak in a pepper sauce

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2012 Côte-Rôtie Rozier

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Côte-Rôtie
    Rozier

    $50

    Made exclusively from the Rozier parcel, with vines 10-55 years-old, this Côte-Rôtie blends sturdy Syrah grapes with a small amount of delicate Viognier. Raised 13 months in mostly new oak.

    • Closed on the palate at present, featuring big tannins. Somewhat paradoxically, it’s already rather spicily effusive on the nose, offering up dark fruit, cinnamon ball candy, leather, meat, peaches, cloves, cola, and nutmeg scents—a pleasure just to linger over. This wine will need time to open up. Likely to be more approachable by around 2017 and likely improve through around 2020 or beyond.

      Food pairing: Lamb; game; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; dishes flavored with olives or the more pungent herbs

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2011 Côte-Rôtie Rozier

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2011 Côte-Rôtie
    Rozier

    $50

    Made exclusively from the Rozier parcel, with vines 10-55 years-old, this Côte-Rôtie blends sturdy Syrah grapes with a small amount of delicate Viognier. Raised 13 months in mostly new oak.

    • The youthful nose is full of oaky spice, nutmeg and other sweet baking spices, black olive tapenade, anchovies, violets, and mushrooms. The palate offers full-bodied flavors including coffee, cocoa, brambles, black currants, boysenberries, and tapenade, with leafy herbal and garrigue-like suggestions, as well as pungent spice. Intense, full-flavored and robust with massive structure, powerful fruit, and a lengthy finish. Likely to be drinking well well into the 2030s.

      Food pairing: Hearty dishes in sauce

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine du Monteillet 2010 Côte-Rôtie Fortis

    Domaine du Monteillet
    2010 Côte-Rôtie
    Fortis

    $58

    Silver medal winner, Sommelier Wine Awards, 2014. Made from a blend of Syrah and 8-10% Viognier, Montez’s Côte Rôtie Fortis is fermented in a sandwich — Syrah first, then Viognier, then more Syrah on top — thus preventing over-oxidization of the Viognier grapes and releasing a fruitier, less dry feel than other Côte-Rôties.

    • The complex nose offers spicy tapenade, brine, minerals, earth, and coffee grounds along with pungent herbal notes, particularly juniper. Full bodied. The palate suggests dark fruits, herbs, roasted meat, coffee grounds, black olives, earth, and tapenade plus something smoky. The long, lingering finish builds in fruity intensity over time. An overlying thin vein of minerality and ample tannins contribute to remarkable balance. Wow! A dramatic, sexy wine that cries out for grilled steak or barbecued meat.

      Food pairing: Grilled steak or barbecued meat

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2010 Côte-Rôtie

    Domaine François Merlin
    2010 Côte-Rôtie
     

    $65

    Originating from the Cognet lieux-dit, this Syrah is a robust yet elegant Côte Rôtie. The 2010 vintage is considered one of the best vintages in Côte-Rôtie since the legendary vintage of 1978.

    • Decant this juicy, gamey Syrah to enjoy it at its best. Licorice, black cherry pie filling and smoked meat are the dominant flavors on the palate. Still a bit reserved, but likely to become richer and more elegant with a few years of cellar aging (through around 2017).

      Food pairing: Bacon wrapped dates

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2012 Côte-Rôtie

    Domaine François Merlin
    2012 Côte-Rôtie
     

    $65

    Originating from the Cognet lieu-dit, this Syrah is a robust yet elegant Côte Rôtie. One of our most stunning wines, we bring out this bottle whenever we want to dazzle a guest or a friend!

    • Quite robust with gobs of blackberry, mocha and a bit of earth. Rich and savory, this Syrah has great structure and will age well.

      Food pairing: Bacon

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2012 Côte-Rôtie La Comtesse en Côte Blonde

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Côte-Rôtie
    La Comtesse en Côte Blonde

    $68

    The top Côte-Rôtie of the domaine. Grown in the Côte Blonde, whose paler, more crumbly soils yield more delicate and earlier-drinking wines than its neighbor, the Côte Brune, this Syrah was raised 18 months in new oak. Already dazzling now, it will reward for the next 8-10 years.

    • Honey, smoky oak, and a slight spiciness in the nose — appealing even before the first sip! Concentrated, intense fruit on the palate — suggestions of citrus, pine, and chocolate. Bright, rich, fruity and perfectly balanced with a shot of chewy tannin and just enough acid to balance its richness.

      Powerful, yet elegant. Complex and shifting. A truly beautiful wine that’s full of delightful surprises.

      Food pairing: Delicious to drink all by itself, but, if you must, try it with lamb; game; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; dishes flavored with olives or the more pungent herbs

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