Maison Les Alexandrins Côte-Rôtie Rouge - 2016
History has it that vines were planted here centuries ago. Two thousand years ago the Latin authors Martial, Pline l’Ancien, Columelle and Plutarque called the wine from Côte Rôtie “Vin Viennois”.
During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the reputation of the wines from Ampuis just grew bigger. Before the revolution wines from Côte Rôtie were sent to Royal tables around the world; England, Russia, Prussia and France. The vineyard reached its peak in 1890. Every inch of sunny hillside was planted with vines. At this time, the outbreaks of Phyloxera and other diseases didn’t demotivate the winegrowers. Unfortunately World War One will ruin all their efforts. Over 150 men were sent to war and the vineyards were abandoned. It is only in the sixties that the vineyard was attended again.
The vineyard of Côte Rôtie is located on the hills of the right bank of the Rhône river. Some of the slopes exceed 60%. The vineyard is located at an altitude ranging between 180 and 325 metres and is composed of 73 localities.
The main stone is granite covered in places by schist but also sand and calcareous soils.
For the most part, our wine comes from the southern part of the appellation; Côte Blonde and Coteau de Tupin. We wished to make wines with great distinction but also with elegance and finesse rather than wines from the north that tend to be harder and more powerful.
After the solar and Mediterranean 2015 vintage, 2016 is very structured and fresh. The wines are flattering right from the first months but their balance will carry them for many years.
The vineyard of Côte Rôtie is located on the hills of the right bank of the Rhône riverto the north and south of the village of Ampuis. Some of the slopes exceed 60%. The vineyard is located at an altitude ranging between 180 and 325 metres and is composed of 73 different localities.
Maceration and fermentation for about 20 days with pumping-over for the first few days followed by punching-down. Ageing in 1-year-old barrels for 15 months.
A very complex and intense nose mixing smoky, cherry and mocha, with mineral and graphite notes. On the palate, it offers a lot of freshness, tension, melted tannins and notes of violet and liquorice on a long saline finish.
Currently this wine needs to be decanted at least an hour before serving.
Drink in it’s youth: Slow roasted lamb will be a great match for this wine.
Syrah : 98 %
Viognier : 2 %
Guide Bettane et Desseauve des vins de France , 15,5/20
Saturated ruby. Vibrant dark berry, violet pastille, licorice and smoky mineral aromas are complemented by hints of bacon and cracked pepper. Palate-caressing black and blue fruit, vanilla and baking spice flavors show very good depth, and hints of allspice and cola build in the glass. Silky and broad on the long, energetic finish, which is shaped by gentle, even tannins.
Vinous , 92/100 , 2019-09-01
While the nose of this wine is demure initially, whiffs of fresh blackberry, earth and shrub build with aeration. The palate surprises with bold mulberry and cassis flavors and a firm strike of acidity. Tasted in early 2020, it’s still youthful and fresh fruited but hints of smoke, fur and menthol peek through. This arresting wine should intensify through 2030 and hold further still.
Wine Enthusiast , 95/100 , 2020-06-01