TN: 2017 Marie et Pierre Bénetière Côte-Rôtie Cordeloux

Some may chuckle, some may cry, but dang if this isn’t a Cote Rotie made for lovers of classic Chinon. Incredibly fragrant on the wild and briary side of the fruit spectrum, dry earth and green things, stems and herbs. A definite green pepper and ash note. Clearly on the slightly under-ripe side for a denizen of the “roasted slope,” but it works. I mean, this is a swirl, stick your nose in the glass and enjoy kind of wine.

Admittedly, the palate does not currently match up to the nose. Were I a scoring man - ok I am, and I like to score - I’d say a 3-4 point drop off from nose to palate. Not to say this isn’t enjoyable. It is. It’s fresh, crisp, lithe, low ABV. This is definitely a food-friendly wine, meant to complement not overtake the dinner conversation. Black olive juice, brine, white pepper. Dry earth. Savory but short crisp finish with a little sweet-tart bite going on. Ultimately a very good but not great wine.

(91 pts.)

Really enjoyable, but hard to justify the $100 or so price tag. I’m probably done with Benetiere at this point. Love 2010, 12 and 13, and still have some of each, including the Dolium Cuvee. Have some bottles of the idiosyncratic 2015 as well. Like this 2017 but for the price, there are so many other better Northern Rhone wines. I really do think this winery has lost its initial grasp of greatness, if judged by what has transpired in 15-17. I have not tried any 2018. While I would say perhaps this is a Cote Rotie that could handle a bit more ripeness, it did not handle the ripeness of 2015 with consistency.

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Very helpful TN. The one bottle I opened for the 15 was completely off, the 17 was uninspiring. I’ll see how the next one tastes before making a decision about the rest of my Benetiere stash…

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Thanks for the note. '12 and '13 were really really good. '17 as you posted was somewhat underwhleming. I chalk it up to being bit too young at this point, but we’ll see. Hopefully we’ll get an update on '18s soon.

I wonder if you caught it at an awkward moment. A few of us had the 2017 and while it wasn’t spectacular, I think we liked it better than you did.

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It’s been awhile since the 2012/2013 were released but the 13 shut down and got thin pretty early after release without significant air. Not surprised at the same for 2017. Benetiere has always been nose first - palate second and needing a fair bit of air to express the later.

Sure, but I think most of us are sophisticated enough to know what we have on our hands, and certainly enjoy checking in early. That generally sets my buying strategy. On wines like Gonon, Levet, etc., I have a very long track record so just order them blindly with no worries. I’m not doing that with Benetiere.

The nose was quite pretty, so would not call this wine shut down that way, but definitely the palate leans out as Fu mentions. Some interesting CT notes on this wine, check them out. I saved a third of a bottle for tonight, so will post my observations, perhaps it fleshes out more.

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Fair enough. We had that 2017 next to a levet (double blind) and most thought the lever was better, so draw your own conclusions.

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Seems pretty consistent with my experiences with this wine.

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Thanks for the check-in, and I completely agree. I’m growing increasingly fearful that 2010-13 was just a crazy lightning-in-a-bottle era for Benetiere, and that the current vintages don’t stack up. I can’t think of another producer with a similar story.

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Just finished my 1/3 remaining from last night. Same impressions.

Just as GregK mentioned, a few of us had this blinded and I was in the minority when I declared liking it more than its Levet co-flight.

Very young to my taste then, it was an uncomplicated Northern Rhone syrah that I expect to be better with age.

Appreciate the note.

What northern Rhone producers do you prefer in the approximately $100/bottle range? Thanks for sharing!

Levet

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Definitely Levet and Gonon (and yes, I know the grey market for Gonon is way higher than that). Champet when it is “on”. I should not have said “so many others” as that’s overstated.

None of those producers really fill the Benetiere niche

Does Jamet? Yes, more expensive, but at least it delivers consistently…

Closer maybe but don’t get me wrong - I’d take Jamet if it was a choice between the two. If stylistic comparison is out the window you could go below $100 and find things like Mickael Bourg

A few others: Gilles, Xavier Gerard, Balthazar.

Barge

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Top of the Cote Rotie food chain to me