TN: Cote Rotie 2001 and Older (Jamet, Ogier, and Others)


I gathered with some friends for a tasting Sunday night with a theme of Cote Rotie from 2001 or older. While the weather was wet and dreary, the company and the wines were anything but.

  • NV Pehu Simonet Champagne Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru - France, Champagne, Verzenay, Champagne
    Disgorged in June 2010, with plenty of pleasant pear and a hint of soursop, and a little yeast, it was pleasant and refreshing, and its medium weight and more fruit-driven style served it well on a humid evening.
  • 1997 Jean-Michel Gerin Condrieu La Loye - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
    Moderately oxidized, but a little sweetness on the back helps balance it out, and a little bit more fruit comes out as it warms up and gets some air. It should have been consumed several years ago, but isn’t unpleasant.
  • 1999 Robert Níero Condrieu Cuvee du Chery - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
    Slightly oxidized, but it still has enough fruit and acidity to be interesting. As it warmed up and aired out, the acid faded, leaving the fruit muddled. Again, I held it longer than I should have, but it wasn’t a bad showing given its age.

  • 2000 Tardieu-Laurent Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Some noticeable oak on the nose, with a modest amount of brett, and indistinct dark fruit, and unobtrusive acidity that did little to help or hinder the wine, it left little impression on me, either good or bad.
  • 1999 Jean-Michel Gerin Côte-Rôtie Champin le Seigneur - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Opened right before it was served, it starts out very tight and bashful, with hints of leather and red fruit, and quite a bit of acid and not much else. It opened up enough with air for me to suspect that it should either be decanted well in advance of service, or just allowed to slumber a little longer.
  • 2001 Tardieu-Laurent Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Served blind, the slightly muddy red/purple color, meaty dark fruit, a not unpleasant herbal/vegetal quality, and a less pleasant lactic quality led me to guess that it might be an Hermitage, though the fairly intense acidity made me question my guess. My guess was wrong, but the wine was uninspiring enough that I couldn’t bring myself to care.

  • 1999 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    The aromas defy description, bypassing the rational part of the brain to connect with something deep and primal. Transfixed, like a cat staring through the window at a cavorting chipmunk, it took a moment to remember that this is a beverage, then I took a sip. The blackberry/raspberry fruit, leather, and a touch of minerals and pepper are there, but are tightly wound around a core of tannin and acidity. It is another wine that probably should have been decanted well in advance, but it was so special on the nose that it is hard to regret it too much.
  • 1999 Michel & Stéphane Ogier Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    More restrained and elegant than the 1999 Jamet, with plenty of lovely and focused red fruit and hints of leather, and a strong acidic core. It opened up nicely with air, and though it drank well, it should continue to improve.
  • 1998 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d’Ampuis - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    A bottle of this two weeks ago was the first drinkable Chateau d’Ampuis i ever had. Unfortunately, this one showed the style I’ve come to know and loathe. Dark purple in color, it drinks like a blackberry/blueberry milkshake with overripe fruit overlaid with overpowering vanillin oak, and a fair bit of heat on the nose. The friend who brought it told me that the one we had two weeks ago was more representative of his experience with Chateau d’Ampuis, but this one, alas, is typical of mine.

  • 1998 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Double decanted a couple of hours before the tasting, the first impression was a healthy blast of brett, but it faded quickly to be replaced by just ripe raspberry and strawberry fruit, a little menthol, and hints of bacon and pepper, though I didn’t find any of the violets I associate with Jamet’s wines. The aromas, while nice, couldn’t match the 1999, but it more than made up for it on the palate, combining grace with power bolstered by refreshing acidity. It is drinking well now, but should continue to evolve for several more years.
  • 1998 Michel & Stéphane Ogier Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Double decanted a couple of hours before the tasting, it also started with a big hit of sweet bretty odors, which disappeared quickly. More focused and intense than the 1998 Jamet, the pure, penetrating blackberry and blueberry fruit is joined by beguiling hints of violet and white pepper, seamlessly integrated with lively acidity, it is drinking beautifully, but still on an upward trajectory.
  • 1998 Saint-Cosme Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Showing well, and definitely ready to go, though it was a little overwhelmed by the other wines in the flight, and lighter in color as well as it is bright ruby to the core. Quite aromatic, as leather and red cherry and raspberry aromas leapt from the glass and carried over nicely on the palate, with decent acidity keeping it lively. A good, but not great, Cote Rotie, that I don’t expect will improve, but should hold well for at least a few more years.

  • 1988 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Corked. NR (flawed)
  • 1991 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    The 1991 Jamet was the first Cote Rotie I ever had, and it seduced me into a love affair with the wines from Ampuis that is still going strong after almost 20 years. I only have a few bottles left, leading me to grin maniacally when I saw that a friend brought this to the tasting. Tasting it only made the grin more manic. Hugely expressive, with garrigues, raspberry and cherry, bacon, and a touch of white pepper engaged in an elaborate dance, one stepping forward, then twisting aside to allow another to take the lead. Fresh, but tightly integrated acidity keeps the wine focused, and suggests that it has plenty of dancing left in it.
  • 1998 Michel & Stéphane Ogier Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes La Rosine - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
    The translucent red color reflects its age, and the pure red fruit matches the purity of the color. Not terribly complex, but lovely in its simplicity, with enough acid to delineate the fruit. Time to drink these up if you still have them, but it should have at least a few very pleasant years left in it.

  • 2003 Château La Tour Blanche Sauternes - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Bright, lively and fresh, not too sweet, and with a refreshing amount of acidity, it was a nice way to end the evening.

Nice job Mike. This sounds like a special tasting. Cheers.

Many thanks for the notes! Some of my favorite wines there. Definitely agree on the '98 Jamet and '99 Ogier–very enjoyable wines. Also had a '98 St. Cosme CR rcently, and I thnk it was better a few years ago.

Great notes and updates on many wines I own and some I have not tried in a while.

That '99 Jamet sure is a winner despite many poo-pooing it at the Marche. Been a while but think I like it better than the Ogier. But in '98 I am not sure. The Ogier has been more polished and the Jamet quite meaty. A thousand flowers and all that I guess. I need to revist the '99 Ogier and have a '98 Belle Helene on deck.

Like you the '91 Jamet really is/was a formative CR for me. Been ages but great stuff. I have one '91 Ogier on deck for a special occasion.

Hope you are well.

The 99 Jamet is just a stellar wine and what Cote-Rotie is all about as far as I’m concerned. Too bad your bottle didn’t get more air. I wish I had been smart enough to buy 91’s in Northern rhone–what a year. I really didn’t start buying until 2001, and I’ve been sitting on almost all of my wines. I see a number of folks drinking these too early. You may get a pleasant Syrah with some black olive notes, but you miss a lot of the fireworks.

Nice notes. Both the 88 and 91 Jamets can be lovely; too bad the 88 was corked.


John (Sprow), based on these bottles, I’m in agreement with you, giving the slight edge to Jamet in 1999 and to Ogier in 1998. The La Rosine was the unexpected surprise of the tasting for me, as I didn’t know how well it would have held up, and I still have several in the cellar.

John (Stimson), I was fortunate enough to have bought a good bit of '91 Cote Rotie, but am now down to a few Jamets, one Gallet, and the single most treasured bottle in my cellar, one Gentaz-Dervieux. I have other bottles that may be worth more, but none that are as special to me, or as irreplaceable.

Bruce, the TCA on the 1988 Jamet was a real disappointment, since it should have been fantastic, though I haven’t had it in years. It was as corked a wine as I’ve ever had, so overwhelmingly so that I couldn’t get even a slight read on what was going on underneath it.

what a great tasting (and one i would have loved to have attended). i especially appreciate the notes on the jamets. excellent work.

Jamet 1999 is a special wine, which fortunately wasn’t recognized as such by critics, making it easily available at the time. The Côte-Brune from the same year is one notch higher, if that’s even possible.

I had the 98 earlier this year and it seems to be opening up while being already advanced (keeping in mind the producer) at the same time. Right now the domaine recommends drinking 95-96-97 although many reports point to the fact that the 95 isn’t quite ready yet. A 96 drunk a month ago was stellar (popped and poured).

Too bad the 88 was corked.

Re: Château d’Ampuis, I think it suffered form being served next to the 99s in the same flight, especially since it was a 98. I’m sure it’s decent on its own, but it can’t possibly be expected to hold a candle to the two stunning wines you had alongside it.

Guillaume, thanks for the update on the '96, I need to pull one soon. Any recent experience with the '94?

My collection starts with vintage 95…

Then I need to open one soon and post a note.

Really? My recollection is that the 1999 Jamet got very high ratings but the 1998 was underrated. I know that for a long time Rare Wine Co. had the 1999 for about $100 and the 1998 for about $45 and I put that down to the ratings difference. I still have one bottle of 1998 left from that purchase.

I am making a mushroom risotto, garnished with bacon crumbles, for supper tonite so I thought a 2001 St Cosme [Cote Rotie] might pair well with that given the AOC’s typical earthy & smoked meat notes. However the wine is thin and cool - nothing at all like 99 and 03 Cote Roties. The nose has some celery, umame and the palate is mostly dominated by a strong acidic spine and wan fruit. The oak - if any - is not the issue here just the general vintage characteristics. I prefer the bigger years for NoRho and this didn’t do it for me. Anti QPR given the price & years. C+ in my ledger, and this is a producer I enjoy. Very zippy wine, for a red.

I’m will open something else for dinner.

Very enjoyable to read
I started with Cote Rotie in these vintages . Actually 1997
Wish I had not drunk them young (insert used to be newbie emoticon)