Delas Frères Côte-Rôtie ‘La Landonne’
December 20, 2018, Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2017 Côte Rôtie La Landonne is a beautiful wine and shows the more forward, sexy style of the vintage. Blackcurrants, blackberries, ground pepper, and ample meatiness all emerge from this deep purple-colored beauty, and it has sweet tannins, no hard edges, and terrific purity of fruit. Atypically forward and charming, it still has plenty of underlying tannins. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following two decades.”
This very ancient region dates back to the Roman Era and is located on the right bank of the Rhône. It is said that during the Middle Ages, “The Seigneur de Maugiron” gave a hillside to each of his two daughters - one was brunette and the other fair - thus, were born the names of “Côte Brune” and “Côte Blonde.” Wines from the Côte Blonde tend to be more delicate and lighter in character than the fuller wines of the Côte Brune. Together, they make a wine of style and substance. This cuvée is a vineyard plot selection. The grapes come exclusively from a plot within the named slope of “La Landonne.”
This cuvée‘s first vintage was 1997. The wine is only made in the very best years. Its highly limited production never exceeds 2,500 bottles per year.
The steep, terraced hillsides along the river produce wines that are among the "biggest" reds of France. The Delas Côte-Rôtie is primarily Syrah with an addition of up to 10 to 20% of Viognier grapes in the crop. The soils of the northern part of the Côte Brune vineyard consists of extremely steep, terraced slopes of ferruginous mica schists which are covered with schist sand (arzel). The Côte Blonde has a varied geology with gneiss and granite predominating at the most southern side of the appellation. The area has dry, hot summers with regular rainfalls during other seasons. The grapes for the “La Landonne” cuvée are picked by hand at maximum maturity. Fermentation takes place in traditional open-topped concrete tanks, following three days of pre-fermentation cold maceration. Before fermentation, the maceration process continues under controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F. Daily cap pushing down and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days with total vatting time of up to 20 days. The wine is aged for 14 to 16 months in new or one year old oak casks. The barrels are topped up regularly.
The wine‘s deep color is underscored by plummy hues. A complex nose shows deep, fruity aromas with hints of licorice and roasted coffee. Endowed with a dense and silky tannic structure, this is a full, fleshy wine that provides an ample and generous palate. Its lasting finish speaks of considerable ageing potential.
This wine pairs wonderfully with fine meats, roasted beef, water games, truffles and spicy stews. The bottle should be opened 1 to 3 hours before drinking. This wine needs at least 3 years cellaring before it can open up its complexity. In such case it is strongly recommended to decant before serving.
Varietals: 100% Syrah
Suggested Retail Price: $279.99