The 2015 Côte Rôtie was scheduled to be bottled not long after my visit. This is an undeniably great vintage at this address, even if Jean-Paul prefers his 2016s, calling 2015 'too much.' It’s worth pointing out that he thought the same about his 1991, which is a borderline perfect wine today. The 2015 sports a deep ruby/purple color to go with searing notes of pepper, smoked meats, flowers, and assorted black and blue fruits. With full-bodied richness, a concentrated, thick mid-palate, sweet, yet present tannin, and a huge finish, this is a wine to back up the truck for. A warning, however -- it’s not for those looking for instant gratification. Readers looking for classic, old-school, age-worthy Cote Rotie should look no further than the wines from Jean-Paul and Corinne Jamet. While 2015 is an incredible vintage for this estate, the 2016s are also some of the more impressive in the appellation.
The 2015 Cote Rotie was scheduled to be bottled the day after my visit, so I tasted the final blend from tank. Jean-Paul describes the vintage as a cross between 2009 and 2010, adding that "as it's aged, it's gotten less broad and longer." The warmth of the year hasn't detracted from the wine's floral aromas, and the berry fruit is still fresh but concentrated. This medium to full-bodied wine is rich and tannic but also ripe and almost creamy on the mid-palate, finishing with hints of tapenade. It should begin to drink well by age 10, although it's far from unapproachable now. Aside from Guigal, I know of no other producer with such extensive experience with so many of Côte Rôtie's various lieux-dits. Tasting at Jamet hilltop cellar is always a study in geology and microclimate more than anything else, as the winemaking is resolutely traditional. All of the Côte Rôtie parcels are vinified as whole bunches, and there's still only a small proportion of new wood in the cellars, so it's possible to really taste nuances in the various barrels. Jean-Paul Jamet is always gracious with his time and wine, making it a true pleasure to visit.
(95% whole clusters): Opaque ruby. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh black and blue fruits, candied licorice and dark chocolate, with a sexy floral note adding complexity. Broad, seamless and appealingly sweet, offering intense blackcurrant and boysenberry flavors that are energized by a refreshing snap of juicy acidity. Blends richness and vivacity smoothly and finishes very long and youthfully tannic, leaving a sappy dark fruit note behind. (JR)
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