This cuvÃ©e tends to be a blend of 13 different lieux-dits other than Landonne and CÃ´te Blonde. In its youth the wine's rich fruity Syrah is scented with cassis and liquorice. With age it takes on fine notes of venison. With its finesse its structure and the freshness typical of the appellation this is the perfect introduction to the two great cuvÃ©es of Landonne and CÃ´te Blonde."
Mostly blended but still in barrel the 2018 Cote Rotie Ampodium is a terrific introduction to the Côte Rôties of Rostaing. Mulberries and licorice appear on the nose followed by savory notes of espresso and black olives on the medium to full-bodied palate. It's silky fine and complex with a long softly dusty finish. I also tasted a richer more structured lot from la Viallière that will be blended in along with a terrific-looking barrel from Leyat that will add floral raspberry and mocha notes.
Aromas of ripe spice-tinged dark berries and pungent flowers are sharpened by sneaky mineral and spice flourishes. Spicy and focused on the palate offering juicy blackberry cherry and violet pastille flavors that are complicated by salty olive and cracked pepper nuances. Fleshes out with air while maintaining liveliness and finishes bright spicy and quite long displaying sharp clarity even tannins and lingering florality.
A ripe and plush year for Ampodium with plenty of concentrated squished forest berry fruit and a good weight of dense grippy tannin. Very smooth ripe style. The entry-level Côte-Rôtie for this domaine a blend of sites from across the appellation. 95% whole cluster. (Drink between 2023-2029)
Dark currant cherry and blackberry fruit is steeped together with anise mesquite and bramble notes. The finish sports some tarry grip but keeps a fresh and racy feel in the end. Best from 2023 through 2033. ?J.M.
Moving to the Côte Rôties the 2018 Côte Rôtie Ampodium is a head turner and is going to rival the 2010 as the greatest vintage of this cuvée to date. A deep ruby/purple hue is followed by sumptuous notes of ripe dark fruits ground herbs scorched earth and violets. Full-bodied deep and powerful on the palate it has the wonderful sense of opulence and purity that’s the hallmark of the vintage. This was another power-packed lineup from the Rostaing Family and you can’t go wrong with any of these new releases. The 2017s show the sunny yet also elegant style of the vintage and have beautifully polished ripe tannins. These wines offer pleasure even today but do your best to give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age especially the single vineyard releases. Looking at the 2018s these are largely in the same style yet have slightly more concentrated structured profiles. My money is on the 2018s requiring slightly more bottle age but I’ll report on those from bottle this time next year. In addition to the Côte Rôties don’t miss a chance to try the Languedoc and Collines Rhodaniennes releases. Both represent terrific wines as well as value.
The 2018 Côte-Rôtie “Ampodium” bottling from Domaine Rostaing is pretty ripe in this vintage coming in listed at 14.5 percent octane. However the wine shows off beautiful purity on both the nose and palate and absolutely no signs of sur maturité as the nose jumps from the glass in a lovely blend of cassis black raspberries grilled meats pepper a touch of hazelnut a lovely foundation of soil tones woodsmoke and a touch of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep full-bodied and powerful in profile with a rock solid core of fruit excellent mineral drive and grip ripe chewy tannins and a very long complex and very well-balanced balanced finish. This carries its ripeness extremely well with a blade of minerality defining the palate. For the Ampodium bottling the 2018 is most emphatically a “big boy” and will need plenty of cellaring time to soften up and blossom but in due course this will be superb. (Drink between 2033-2080)