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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.

    • Ginger, freshly sawn wood, spice, and leather on the nose. Earthy, tannic, dark fruit flavors on the palate. A little distant at present but suggesting a more expansive future. Comparatively low in acid and with leathery tannins on the finish, but seductive plummy flavors develop with a little time in the glass, along with attractive hints of clove and peach.

      Food pairing: Try it with lamb; game; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; or dishes flavored with olives or pungent herbs

  • 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.

    • Slightly muted savory nose, this wine can use some more time in the bottle but the fruit will express itself with time. Bold and grippy finish.

      Food pairing: Brisket

  • 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.

    • Tasty and approachable now, but likely to develop through around 2017. Delicious tangy raspberry flavors. The nose is not especially earthy, but you can taste a hint of clay soil on the mid-palate.

      Food pairing: Charcuterie

  • 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.

    • A lush, spicy Syrah with tasty, red fruit-laced black pepper. The fruit is juicy and fresh rather than jammy or stewed. Gingersnap and black pepper blend with raspberry on the finish.

      Food pairing: Steak

  • 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.

    • It’s old-fashioned to compare wine to women, but this extraordinarily delicious wine reminded me of a beauty I once knew who had done years of aikido—mesmerizing but with an aura of authority stemming from her long training. The 2010 François Merlin Côte-Rôtie is a similarly quiet powerhouse in a beautifully elegant wrapper. Deep purple, redolent of violets and perfumed with wood, peaches, toast, cinnamon buns, and an undercurrent of iodine seemingly wafting in from the ocean. Vibrant, powerful, and youthful yet surprisingly delicate with fine-grained tannins masking a deep core of intense, layered fruit. Seductive and delicious already, but likely to improve for another decade or more.

      Food pairing: Steak with black pepper, olives, or shiitake or porcini mushrooms; venison; duck; other game or fowl—pigeon, perhaps?; terrine; grilled eggplant; lamb; veal chops with morels

  • 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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