The Man & The Terroir – A tasting with René Rostaing

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. It is the soils in Côte-Rôtie that helps us to understand why these wines are so sumptuous…and take us closer to heaven!

The vines of the Côte-Rôtie plunge into 300 million year old Hercynian rock and the history of the Rhône itself dates back to 2,000 years when it was cultivated by Romans. The Rhone river has sculpted deep valleys in which winds are channeled, the sun “roasting” its slopes and thus creating its own microclimate.
This is why René Rostaing tells us with simplicity that with this terroir 85% of the work is already done! Four people tend the vines during the whole year (no mechanisation is possible due to the steep slopes) to produce healthy grapes. His work then consists in making his touch invisible! According to him a winemaker has to step aside and let the terroir express itself. This is why for example, he has a very limited use of new oak and he doesn’t do any fining. His Côte Rôtie may express the terroir but they are also as elegant as the man himself!

René Rostaing follows the same meticulous approach to his other vineyard, further south, 15 kilometres away from Nimes in another traditional wine region where he produces two other great wines that we had the pleasure to taste: a Coteaux du Languedoc called Puech Noble, in red and white. This is a challenge he gave himself 18 years ago when he bought the vineyard and we can say that this challenge is a success as his wines are delicious. The calcareous soil, witness of the assault of the sea millions of years ago, give a nice mineralty to his wines.
With his Languedoc wines and his famous Côte-Rôtie, René Rostaing offers us some immediate pleasure and some pleasure yet to come after a bit of patience in the cellar!
Most of the wines we tasted this morning are available on our website.

Puech Noble (white) 2009 – a blend of Grenache Blanc and Vermentino which give a nice energy and acidity to the wine. Not available yet.

The complex and elegant 2011 Côte-Rôtie Cuvées below are all available En Primeur.
Côte-Rôtie Cote Blonde 2011 – 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier
Blog by Chloe Barthet

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