WTN: Wondrous 11 year old Cotes du Rhone

The monthly Wine Focus discussions are now held in the main Wine Forum (above). The forum remains open as an archive, but please post comments and questions in the Wine Forum.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

WTN: Wondrous 11 year old Cotes du Rhone

Postby Salil » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:05 pm

1998 Château de Fonsalette Côtes du Rhône Reserve (Second wine of Château Rayas)
Funky earthy and leathery aromatics at first, and with some air this picks up elements of smoke, violets, red fruits and white pepper. Stunning in the mouth - the label indicates 14% alcohol but from the first sip this feels incredibly light and graceful without any of the weight or density I expected, combining pepper, plum and red fruited notes with savoury earth and leathery elements. There's bright acidity underneath giving it lift and the tannins seem fully resolved. Finishes long and savoury; superb wine.
User avatar
Salil
Franc de Pied
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: Wondrous 11 year old Cotes du Rhone

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:43 am

Sounds terrific, wonder if they declassified some other production?
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9580
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: WTN: Wondrous 11 year old Cotes du Rhone

Postby Salil » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:50 am

I also know they do a Cuvee Syrah (this was the regular 'Reserve' CDR bottling), but I haven't seen that around.
Need to find one though - I understand this is a 50% Grenache blend with other Rhone varieties, and I was stunned at how the flavour profile leaned closer to a Cote-Rotie with all its white pepper, violet and smoky notes and nothing like a Chateauneuf. Would love to find out what their pure Syrah bottling tastes like in that case (if they're doing this with mostly Grenache!)
User avatar
Salil
Franc de Pied
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: Wondrous 11 year old Cotes du Rhone

Postby Tony Fletcher » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:14 pm

Nice notes Salil, and by the sound of them, a lovely wine. No reason it shouldn't have been, what with the combination of Rayas & 1998.

Cheers

Tony
"Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter! Try again. Fail again. Fail better." S. Beckett
Tony Fletcher
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:56 pm
Location: Catskill Mountains

Re: WTN: Wondrous 11 year old Cotes du Rhone

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:12 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Sounds terrific, wonder if they declassified some other production?


Doubtful, Bob. Fonsalette is a privileged site, much like the Coudoulet of Beaucastel: both lie just beyond the official boundaries of CdP and make the case that the boundaries should be redrawn. No, it's not Rayas, but it's not ordinary Cotes du Rhone, either.

Mark Lipton
User avatar
Mark Lipton
Oenochemist
 
Posts: 4342
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:18 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: WTN: Wondrous 11 year old Cotes du Rhone

Postby SteveG » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:01 pm

Great note, Salil!, although I am not surprised, I had a bottle of this recently (May), and it was as fresh as could be. In fact I am lucky enough to have another bottle, I expect it to be fine for at least another couple of years. Fonsalette is most assuredly not ordinary CdR.
SteveG
Wine geek
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:28 pm


Return to Wine Focus

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests