TN:Condrieu and Cote Rotie at Church and State with the EWG

Here are my notes from our dinner with the Eastside Wine Group last night. Since I’m the only one who brings a pen (or at least the only one who constantly uses one during dinner!) I’ll volunteer these scribblings. My favs were both Condrieu’s, and the 1998 Gerin the 1999 Ogier Cote Roties. Thanks to all for bringing some fantastic wines, and great to meet both our guests Allen and Paul!

NV Cedric Bouchard Blanc de Noirs, Inflorescence, Aube, Champagne

Fresh green apples, low yeastiness in the nose, fine bubbles, medium body with very vibrant acidity. 90
2007 Cuilleron, Condrieu, "Les Chaillets"

Lychee and ripe grapefruit in the nose; super rich and smooth mouthfeel with rocky mineral notes and a durian tropical fruit thing going on that I really liked. Very elegant, very mineral, beautiful rich body and long finish. 94

2007 Andre Perret, Condrieu, "Chery"

More lively nose with pineapple, grapefruit, and a bit more heady Viognier notes; amazing floral-tropical fruits in the mouth, very intense with a rock streak and Teflon-like silkiness. Super long finish. 95

1998 Gerin Cote Rotie, "Les Grandes Places"

Intense nose of incense, barnyard, spicy sauce, soy sauce mixture, brett; nice soft mouth, almost fully resolved tannins–in a very good place now; touch of old sweet fruit, mascerated cherry-plum flavors in a soft, smooth body. Very long finish. Confirmed how good this was tonight when I had this with pizza w/truffles at home. Magical combo. 93

1998 Guigal Cote Rotie, Blonde et Brune


1999 Ogier Cote Rotie

Lovely nose of deep dark fruits, garrigue, and distinctive lavender notes that Allen directed my attention to. Amazing concentration but still nice and elegant; felt like I was chewing on flowers or lavender, along with more garrigue, chaperell and dry earth and a little spice in there for good measure. It also had a very nice mineral aspect at its core. Complex, structured, balanced and amazing wine. 95

1998 Guigal Cote Rotie, "La Mouline"

Picked up effects of oak in the form of smoke and ash with a nice plum-cherry fruit note; Beautiful body, very silky, very good structure, still young with some tart berry flavors. Well built and a long finish. 92

1998 Rostaing Cote Rotie, "La Landonne"

Sous-bois nose, more earthy element to this, with a prunes and blackberries; great structure, darker tones, medium rich, very nice medium long finish. This held up very nicely the next day, but not as exciting as the Gerin. On the other hand, it needs more time and may have been slightly closed down. 92

2001 Jamet Cote Rotie

This had nice spice notes, garrigue, cherry, blackberry, good balance, with a touch of pepper and a slightly tannic finish. Classic Cote Rotie, approachable, and very good in its own right. 92

2003 Rostaing Cote Rotie, "La Landonne"

This was drinking very well; super silky, with beautiful high toned notes and included cherry and garrigue (as you can see my descriptors of the night); nice balance and long finish. 92

(2006?) Bilancia, La Collina Syrah, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Up front pepper notes, blackberry and blueberry, newer, very present tannins, fairly big with a touch of oak, but very well integrated. Very well done, well built structured syrah. I thought it was a modern style Gigondas. 91

Nice Lineup…I really like the 2001 Jamet.

Hey Peter,
Thanks for posting notes on these. I think I like the Champagne more than you (really loved it) and maybe the Condrieu a bit less, but maybe I’m just not a Condrieu fan. But like you I maybe did like the Perret a bit more as it had more acidity and minerality, maybe that’s just the white Burg fan in me talking.

Agreed that the Ogier was probably the best wine on the table (although not sure what garrigue or chaperel are). I thought it was awfully young and nowhere ready to drink, but a very deep wine that will be great in another 10+ years. For me, the Gerin was closest to being ready, with the structure somewhat resolved. It wasn’t nearly as complex as the Ogier or Mouline, but showed well. The Mouline was a bit oaky for me, but had a lot of depth and complexity and I think the oak will integrate with time and blossom.

In the next flight, I didn’t think either of the Rostaings showed well, with the '03 showing prominet VA and the '98 just being off. The Jamet started off with a great nose, but I thought the palate was pretty tight and that it’s still in need of a good number of years before it’ll start showing well.

The Collina really surpised me as I thought it was definitely a Rhone. As you note with the strong pepper notes up front, also meaty, and good structure.

We also had an '02 Mr. K Nobleman, which isn’t necessarily my style, but had impressive intensity and sweetness.


Whoops! …totally forgot about the Nobleman. Pens are over-rated!
Also agree about the prominent V.A. in the '03. I never pick up on that, but certainly did this time.
I didn’t get the champagne. I thought it was good, but not great. Read up on C. Bouchard, though, and he seems to be a real interesting new breed of producer making single vineyard/single cepage wines from the down in the Aube.

Reading through the notes I cannot help wondering: Regular Ogier 95points, 4 others with 92points ? [scratch.gif]

There are at least 3 among them I would have preferred to the Ogier, as good as it is.

Do you mean that your tasting of all five bottles at different times (I’m assuming) leads you to that conclusion or that you rank producers before you taste a group?

I’m assuming that you could never replicate bottle conditions for a repeatable exercise to ever demonstrate your conclusion. So why can’t the Ogier be the most pleasing wine that night? And is it not plausible these folks don’t share your palate?

+1. Don’t judge a list by the names.

In addition this is one person’s impression. I can tell you from my perspective the Ogier was the best wine that night (we drank them all in one evening). This was pretty much the groups opinion. The '03 Rostaing had so much VA, I dumped it. The La Mouline needs considerable time to integrate and reach maturity. The '98 Rostaing was slightly off. My other favorite wines were the Gerin which I agree was the most mature of CRs and the '01 Jamet which had a lovely perfume and palate. Condrieu is not my thing either, but I did prefer the Parret wine much for the same reason as Robert expressed. The New Zealand Syrah was a dead ringer for N. Rhone. It had the right flavor profile, but tasted awfully young. The C. Bouchard cmapagne was really good. All the extended lees aging gives this wine a really nice richness while still keeping the fruit quite elegant. A really nice wine. All in all this was a really good tasting with only 2 poor wines.

Both of you are absolutely right. It might be that the five bottles that night were exactly as reported.
However it is very well possible that not all bottles were in the best condition. If the Rostaing 98 really was “off” I wouldn´t have rated it at all.
I had all 3 1998 side by side - and there were huge differences with the Guigal LM the best, Rostaing slightly behind and Gerin 4-5 points below.
Also if the 2003 showed VA the bottle wasn´t ok, I never had any VA with Rostaing, very atypical (hot shipping-storage)?
In addition the 2001 Jamet never was on a level equal to the mentioned 4 or 5 other wines. All IMO of course.

Seriously I very seldom rate two wines in a flight of 4 or 5 exactly the same, I always have a slight preference and would add a 92+ or a 92-? …
so 4 very different wines all with 92 straight points sounded a bit “funny”.

If the Mouline was too young and had potential I at least would have added a 92+ or something -

  • but really no offence intended.

Robert, to avoid this sort of thing, I wish the bottles had an indicator that lit up and shouted [thru my home theater system of course]

“WHOA! Drink me NOW!”

Some wines are too expensive to play the guessing game [cheers.gif]

I routinely prefer Jamet and Ogier to most other Cote Rotie, I’m just not a la la guy, although the Mouline was a very good wine.


Robert - The '98 Rostaing was not obviously flawed, it just didn’t perform as well as one would expect. I don’t think it’s wrong to rate it, if assigning points is your thing, just that it had a higher expecation. The La Mouline had no noticeable flaws, unless you think charred oak is a flaw. It was nothing more than ho hum for me. The '99 Ogier is an amazing wine in my book. It had amazing depth and balance but requires many years before it reaches maturity. Basically, this wine is my benchmark for CR. I would happily have that on my table over many of the wines we drank at this tasting.