More closed than when I tasted it earlier this year, the 2010 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis is an incredible effort that’s made from 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier. Coming from the estate’s top sites and aged 38 months in new oak, it has no problem standing beside the top three single-vineyard releases. Crème de cassis, vanilla bean, smoked meats and licorice all flow to a full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, structured Cote Rotie that needs another 5-6 years of bottle age, but will keep for 2-3 decades. (JD)
Rock-solid, offering dark currant and blackberry paste flavors that race along, thanks to well-embedded graphite and charcoal notes. The finish lets warm fruitcake, plum skin and singed juniper details fill in, with plenty of grip. Mouthwatering acidity and a long echo of sweet tapenade keep this racy and defined. *No. 77 in Top 100 Wines of 2014* (JM)
Glass-staining ruby. Potent raspberry, floral pastille and Asian spice scents are complicated by suggestions of mocha, licorice and pipe tobacco. Silky and expansive on the palate, offering sweet red fruit liqueur and cherry-vanilla flavors lifted and sharpened by juicy acidity. Finishes broad, seamless and extremely long, with slow-building tannins adding shape and grip. This expressive wine drinks very well now but has the concentration and structure to age. (JR)
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