There is no better way to develop an understanding of the different expressions of the single vineyard sites of Côte-Rôtie than by tasting from barrel in Jean-Paul Jamet's underground bunker - especially in a vintage like 2016. 'You smell the terroir first in 2016; in 2015, you smell the vintage first,' he says. Whereas his wonderful 2015 has a lush, easy-going charm, the 2016 is more tailored and precise. Moving from Les Lezards to Gerine, then Fongeant, Le Plomb and La Landonne, each barrel has its own marked character. It's clear that this is an elegant vintage, not hugely powerful but detailed and complex. Drinking Window 2022 - 2036. (MW)
Deep, lurid purple. Assertive, highly perfumed aromas of fresh blackberry, cherry, Moroccan spices and violet pick up olive and licorice nuances with air. Juicy, energetic and appealingly sweet, offering palate-staining red/blue fruit preserve, spicecake and violet pastille flavors that become deeper as the wine opens up. The floral and mineral notes repeat with gusto on an impressively long, focused finish that features youthfully firm tannins and a touch of bitter chocolate. (JR)
Not yet bottled, the 2016 Côte Rôtie is as fresh, elegant, and classic a Côte Rôtie as you’ll be able to find. Offering medium to full-bodied richness, perfumed aromas and flavors, ultra-fine tannins, and no hard edges, this beauty just glides across the palate and is already almost impossible to resist. Nevertheless, it’s going to be best with 4-5 years or cellaring and evolve nicely for two decades or more.
Tasted from 375 milliliters, Jamet's 2016 Cote Rotie is already open and velvety, showing some meaty notes. It's full-bodied, supple and silky, without the bold fruit, raciness and drive of the best years, yet it still delivers plenty of pleasure, from the cassis and blueberry fruit to the savory notes of black olive and espresso and hints of licorice on the long finish. (JC)
Candy, blackcurrant, black cherry, fibrous tannin. Ripe and fleshy. Full and delicious but not as nuanced as it can be – just too young? Very grainy. (RH) 17.5+/20
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