"(aged in all stainless steel and no malo): Pale gold. High-pitched orange, melon and violet aromas show impressive clarity, energy and vivacity. Silky and taut on entry, then more fleshy in the middle, offering vivid citrus fruit and honeydew flavors complemented by a subtle anise quality. Finishes with strong mineral cut and thrust, leaving a suave floral note behind.
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."