"Bright purple. Intense floral pastille, dark berry and peppery spice scents on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy, incisive and pure, showing strong thrust and cut to the gently sweet black raspberry and cherry cola flavors. A smoky mineral quality adds lift to the floral-tinged finish, which lingers with excellent tenacity.
Because of the frighteningly low yields (40% of normal) at Côte-Rôtie in 2014, René Rostaing opted to make a single bottling, his entry-level Ampodium, but "not because of a lack of quality," he said. "On the contrary, it's a very good vintage," one that he compares to 2006. To illustrate his point, Rostaing opened a bottle of his '06 Côte Blonde at the conclusion of our tasting. It is showing impressive finesse and detail, displaying lively red and dark berry character and suave finishing florality. It's just hitting its drinking window, in my opinion, but Rostaing says it's fully ready to drink, adding that he has "always preferred to err on the side of youth when drinking any red wine. When they get old, even if they're from a great terroir and a great vintage, they've mostly lost their distinction and just taste like really good aged red wine." When I reminded him that he told me the same thing when I first visited here in July 1989, he laughed and said that he likes to be consistent and isn't quick to change his opinions. He also pointed out that "7%, maybe 8% new oak is the rule here, and no oak for Condrieu, because the goal is purity and elegance, and wood is a distraction."
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."