The 2015 Côte Rôtie La Landonne from Delas is a seamless, gorgeously balanced Côte Rôtie that reminds me of the 2011. Offering classic notes of smoked meats, currants, graphite, chocolate and roasted herbs, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, plenty of polished tannins, and perfect balance. It's surprisingly accessible, yet has beautiful density and depth of fruit. It's more approachable than most vintages, yet will evolve for just as long given its purity, harmony and balance. This cuvée comes all from the schist soils of the La Landonne lieu-dit, in the Côte Brune side of the appellation, was completely destemmed and spent 18 months in 40% new French oak.
With only about 100 cases produced each year, finding a bottle of the 2015 Cote Rotie la Landonne will prove much harder than drinking it. It's indeed a terrific wine but a bit closed and cedary at this particular moment, the 40% new oak standing out on the nose. But this cuvée has a long track record of excellence, so expect it to blossom with time in the cellar. It's concentrated and powerful but amazingly light on its feet, with firm, ample tannins that manage to convey a sense of ripeness as well. Tar, black olive, cassis and espresso elements all speak to the grape (100% Syrah) and the single lieu-dit origin. (JC)
Dark purple. Potent smoke- and spice-accented aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, licorice and violet, enlivened by a zesty mineral element. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering deeply concentrated boysenberry and cassis flavors and suggestions of star anise, olive and allspice. The smoky quality repeats emphatically on an extremely long, sweet finish framed by smooth tannins. (JR)
Very impressive dark stony and peppery aromas with ripe blackberry and licorice. Attractive brooding style. The palate has a wealth of spicy blackberry fruit flavors. Plush tannins and a warming mocha-dusted finish. Drink from 2020.
La Landonne makes some of the most intense wines of Côte-Rôtie, thanks to its steep slopes, iron-rich soils and location in the cooler northern end of the appellation. This wine started with a three-day cold maceration extended into a ten-day fermentation in open-topped vats with plenty of pump-overs and punch-downs before aging in new oak. It’s a mass of black cherry and plum flavor upholstered in the smooth, smoky sweetness of that oak—plush and flashy, and built to last.
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2016 Raymond Usseglio "Cuvée Impériale - Vignes Centenaires" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)