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France, Cote Rotie

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More-so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
The rhone appellation furthest north, the translation of cote rotie is "Roasted slope," named after the region's very steep, south-facing slopes that have ideal exposure to the sun. There are two main slopes, cote brunes & cote blondes. They are just as they sound, with the darker brunes soils consisting of rich clay and iron, producing firm and robust wine. The lighter soils of the blondes slope contain more slate and limestone, making elegant and soft wine. Wine can be from one designated slope, or a blend of both – the label will designate which it is.
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  1. Vignobles Chirat Cote Rotie La Rose Brune 2017
    Voted one of the Top 5 Producers by Decanter Magazine in 2018, alongside some of the most well-known producers, Domaine JL Chave and M Chapoutier. Gorgeous intensity of fruit and secondary characters on the nose; rose petal, stone, smoked meat, duck, so ... Learn More
    pts
    Alistair Cooper MW
  2. Pierre Gaillard Cote Rotie 2010
    Domaine Pierre Gaillard is a well-regarded wine producer based in Malleval, in the northern Rhône Valley. It is perhaps best-known for its range of local Côte Rôtie, Saint-Joseph, Condrieu, Cornas, and Crozes-Hermitage wines. It also owns vineyard ... Learn More
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
  3. Rene Rostaing 'Ampodium' Cote-Rotie 2011
    Domaine Rostaing, often called René Rostaing after its founder, is a leading wine estate in the Côte-Rôtie region of the Northern Rhône, and particularly known for its Syrah-based wines. ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Stephen Tanzer
  4. Domaine Michel & Stéphane Ogier "Le Village" Côte-Rôtie 2012
    Domaine Stéphane Ogier is a producer in the northern Rhône appellation of Côte Rôtie. It is especially well known for varietal Syrah from several highly regarded appellations in the region, but also making small amounts of ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Vinous
  5. Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Ampodium 2019
    Rene’s son Pierre took the helm since the 2015 vintage & is keeping to his father’s style, 90-100% whole bunch ferment and less than 15% new oak ageing, whilst adding additional precision and intensity to the wines. The Cuvée Ampodium ... Learn More
    pts
    Alistair Cooper MW
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
    pts
    Josh Raynolds
    pts
    Wine Spectator
  6. Rene Rostaing 'Ampodium' Cote-Rotie 2010
    Domaine Rostaing, often called René Rostaing after its founder, is a leading wine estate in the Côte-Rôtie region of the Northern Rhône, and particularly known for its Syrah-based wines. ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Decanter
  7. Domaine René Rostaing La Viallere 'Cuvee Reservee' Côte-Rôtie 2016
    Domaine Rostaing, often called René Rostaing after its founder, is a leading wine estate in the Côte-Rôtie region of the Northern Rhône, and particularly known for its Syrah-based wines. The first Rostaing wine was produced in 1971 when ... Learn More
  8. Rene Rostaing "Côte Blonde" Côte-Rôtie 2012
    Rostaing makes several Côte Rôtie wines. This includes cuvées from both the La Landonne and Côte Blonde subregions, and the Ampodium, which comes from other sites within the appellation. These are aged in a mix of ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Vinous
  9. Chapoutier Cote-Rotie 'Neve' Rouge 2017
    This wine comes from a hillside with a lovely south-southeast exposure in a lieu-dit known as Neve in the commune of Ampuis. The soil here is composed of schist and mica-schist, with some seams of ground soil in the mid-section ... Learn More
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Richard Hemming
    pts
    Decanter
  10. Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Cote Blonde 2019
    Rene’s son Pierre took the helm since the 2015 vintage and is keeping to his father’s style, 90-100% whole bunch ferment and less than 15% new oak ageing, whilst adding additional precision and intensity to the wines. The Cuvée ... Learn More
    pts
    Alistair Cooper MW
    pts
    Josh Raynolds
    pts
    Wine Spectator
  11. Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie La Landonne 2016
    Legal academic, property dealer and vigneron, René Rostaing crafts some of the finest Côte Rôties on the market today. He has owned 2 hectares in the Côte Blonde and La Landone since the 1970s but fortune has blessed ... Learn More
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
  12. Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Cote Blonde 2016
    96 points Jeb Dunnuck Outer quote mark Lastly, the 2016 Côte Rôtie Côte Blonde is more seamless and elegant, with a more perfumed, pretty style in its red and black raspberry fruits, crushed flowers, game, violets, and crushed rocks. ... Learn More
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Robert Parker
  13. Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie La Landonne 2019
    Rene’s son Pierre took the helm since the 2015 vintage and is keeping to his father’s style, 90-100% whole bunch ferment and less than 15% new oak ageing, whilst adding additional precision and intensity to the wines. The Cuvée ... Learn More
    pts
    Alistair Cooper MW
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
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