"Vivid purple. Fresh black and blue fruits and potpourri on the expressive, expansive nose. Highly floral and spicy, with intense dark berry and bitter cherry flavors becoming sweeter with aeration. This precise wine finishes with excellent thrust, sneaky tannins and lingering floral and Asian spice notes. Rostaing pointed out that this is a perfect example of a 2012 that shows wonderfully now but that's set to shut down in "about six months," after which it should be left alone for at least three to five years.
"A year of strong floral character and fresh fruit" is René Rostaing's synopsis of 2012, a vintage that he believes is a showcase for the classic attributes of Côte-Rôtie as well as Condrieu. As a self-professed "guardian of tradition and servant of the soil," as he semi-jokingly referred to himself, such vintages please him enormously. As much as he loves 2010, which he says is one of the great vintages of his career, it's "a vintage of the vintage as much as of the place" and he told me that he's happy that such years are rare. Rostaing feels pretty much the same way about 2013 but he calls it a "really excellent vintage for Condrieu, with power as well as grace." And while he's no fan of the rich school of viognier ("far from it," as he put it), he told me that "it's great to see how wines with richness can also be elegant, and that's what happened in '13."
Jeb Dunnuck - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"Starting with Rene's classic Cote Rotie, the 2012 Cote Rotie Ampodium is a mostly destemmed blend from Rene's 13 different terroirs. It's aged in a combination of demi-muid and older barrels, with just 5% being new. It's smoking base cuvee that does everything right, offering up tons of sweet blackberry, wild herbs, pepper, spice and olive aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, beautifully textured and with impressive concentration, all while stay classic and elegant, it's a no-brainer purchase and will have 15-20 years of longevity.
This was another terrific visit with Rene Rostaing, and he's hit gold in both 2012 and 2013. In fact, he may have fashioned the wines of the vintage in 2013 and I was blown away by the depth and richness these showed. There are few people doing Côte Rôtie better than this guy."