About The Producer
The Rostaing wines are among the very best of classic Côte Rôtie. They are wines of consistency and sophistication that are true to their origins. And with Pierre Rostaing now in day-to-day control, the future for this estate has never looked brighter.
The Rostaing estate dates to 1971 when René Rostaing– a Notary by trade – began tending a few plots of family vineyards. He had the perfect role model to guide him into a career of classical winemaking: Marius Gentaz, his uncle. Over the next few years, René took advantage not only of his uncle’s mentoring, but of historically low vineyard prices, to acquire a prized half acre each in the Côte Blonde and La Landonne lieux-dits.
And when he married, he acquired a second traditional role model, his father-in-law, Albert Dervieux. Dervieux retired in 1989 and Gentaz followed four years later, giving René a further ten acres of very old vines in some of the appellation’s top sites. This treasury of vineyards launched René’s estate into the stratosphere. The vineyard expansion also enabled René to quit his day job and to devote himself full time to winemaking. Over the next 25+ years, he crafted a sequence of masterful wines that honored the legacy of his illustrious forebearers.
In 2015, René’s son, Pierre, took the reins at an estate that boasts 20+ acres of some the finest vineyards in and around Côte Rôtie. Having grown up with tutelege of classical wines from this revered appellation, he has maintained his father’s deep reverence for Côte Rôtie’s traditions. Pierre was also able to experiment further through stages in Washington, California and in France.
In the vineyards, obviously all the work has to be done painstakingly by hand, given the steepness of the slopes. At harvest, the Rostaings endeavor to obtain mature fruit, but never to a degree of over-ripeness. For example, if you’re looking for 2003 or 2009 Northern Rhônes with no hint of sur-maturité, there are no better choices than Rostaing Côte Rôties.
In the cellar, René was never afraid to use technology if it would help him make even more authentic Côte Rôtie. So, in the late 1990s, René acquired horizontal, rotary fermentation tanks, though not for the same purpose as virtually everyone else. While modernists—most famously in Barolo—adopted these tanks to speed fermentations and capture more color and fruit, René adopted them to mimic the long, gentle macerations of his ancestors. The process has much the same effect as the cappello sommerso employed by many of Piedmont’s staunchest traditionalists, with the tanks often making just a single rotation per day, and total macerations lasting often 3-4 weeks
The Rostaings use up to 100% of the stems - believing they contribute to Côte Rôtie’s ineffable perfume as well as they texture and complexity that they provide. The wines enjoy a fairly long élevage in a mix of barrels and demi-muids so that no more than 10-15% of a given vintage sees new wood.
Viticulture, Vinification & Ageing
-Hand harvested, 35 hl/ha
-Fermented in stainless steel tank
-Aged in stainless steel tank
Grape / Blend
Viognier (sourced from two vineyards; 0.6 ha Côte Bonnette, 0.4 ha Ste-Agathe)
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
This comes from Rostaing’s hectare on largely granitic soils at the top of the hill. It’s tropical, with lychees, apricots and candied peel bolstered by ginger and vanilla spice. A luscious body and oily texture are balanced by juicy acidity. Orange blossom and honey notes persist on the palate. Drink now to 2024.
95 Points - Vinous
Limpid, green-hued yellow. Displays floral scents, an exotic touch of saffron, incisive, mineral-driven citrus and orchard fruit. Taut and sharply focused on the palate, offering vibrant lemon zest, green apple and white peach flavors that slowly unfold through the mid-palate. Strongly echoes the mineral and floral notes on an impressively long finish that shows superb clarity and closing thrust.
93 Points Wine Spectator (2018 Vintage)
"Bright and lively, with exuberant star fruit, yellow apple and green almond notes that are given definition and focus by a fresh citrus peel thread throughout. Mineral-edged finish."
92 Points Jeb Dunnuck (2018)
"A wine you don’t see often enough, the 2018 Condrieu La Bonnette is terrific, with a medium-bodied, seamless texture as well as textbook Condrieu notes of tangerine, citrus zest, brioche, and white flowers. It has plenty of freshness, yet shows the soft, plush style of the vintage."
Product size: 750ml