Rene Rostaing, Cote Rotie, La Landonne 1998

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94 points John Gilman
The 1998 La Landonne from Domaine Rostaing is even more refined than the 1999, with its slightly more high-toned personality delivering even finer perfume and aromatic complexity. The stellar nose reveals an absolute classic mix of red and black raspberries, coffee, pepper, black olives, gamebird, woodsmoke, marvelous soil tones and a bit of nutskin in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very soil-driven, with outstanding focus and grip, moderate tannins and lovely balance on the long, pure and complex finish. Both the 1999 and 1998 La Landonne are textbook vintages chez Rostaing, but I have to give a very slight edge to the 1998 for its even more pristine aromatic constellation. 94+(9/2014)
94 points Wine Spectator
Gorgeous, with aromas of game and garrigue, followed by lush black cherry and blackberry fruit, roasted espresso bean, cocoa and game flavors and a long herb and mineral-driven finish. Great silky texture despite all its power. (JM, Web Only-2004) 

Not counting the much larger Guigal domaine, Rene Rostaing is the closest thing to a true cult star that Côte-Rôtie has yet produced. A grower since 1971, his first vineyard purchases were a microscopic half acre each in Côte Blonde and in La Landonne on the Côte Brune. The real breakthrough came when his father-in-law, Albert Dervieux-Thaize retired in 1990, followed by his uncle Marius Gentaz-Dervieux three years later. Between these two legendary growers, Rostaing acquired over ten acres of very old vines in some of the appellation’s top sites. The vineyard expansion also enabled René to quit his day job in 1991, and to devote himself full time to winemaking.

Today, Rostaing can boast 20+ acres of the finest vineyards in and around Côte-Rôtie. The wealth of vineyard holdings results in an astonishing array of wines. From several parcels of old vines that immediately adjoin Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu, Rostaing produces a gorgeous non-appellation white and red called Les Lezardes. In Condrieu, he holds a tiny parcel in La Bonnette that yields some of the region’s most refined Viognier. Most of his Côte-Rôtie parcels are blended to produce the Cuvée Classique, a terrific expression of the appellation. And, of course, there are his two prized Côte-Rôtie special cuvées, La Landonne and Côte Blonde.

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