Pale yellow. Ripe pear, lemon pith, honeysuckle and a hint of succulent herbs on the perfumed nose. Chewy and broad on the palate, offering concentrated, mineral-tinged citrus and orchard fruit and honeysuckle flavors that firm up steadily with air. Closes on a juicy pear nectar note, with strong, floral-driven tenacity. (JR)
Tasted from tank, the 2018 Cotes du Rhone Blanc is a blend of 50% Marsanne, 30% Viognier and 10% each Grenache Blanc and Roussanne. It's rich, fragrant and toasty (a portion was barrel-fermented and aged), like the ripest Chardonnay ever, with notes of mango, pineapple and peach. Medium to full-bodied, drink this lush, flamboyant wine over the next couple of years. When his brother Jean-Luc Jamet went his own way with half of the family vineyards, Jean-Paul continued working in the existing winery above the town of Ampuis. It's always a treat to visit him there, getting a barrel-tasting tour of Côte Rôtie's numerous lieux-dits. Jean-Paul says 2018 is an excellent year, "very ripe yet with supple tannins and good freshness." He contrasts that to 2017, which he says is "a solar year with surprising elegance." As he sums up, "For me, 2018 is magnificent but perhaps a bit southern. In 2017, you know you're in the Northern Rhône." Jamet describes 2016 as "une belle expression de Syrah—classique." To illustrate his point that warm vintages aren't a threat to Côte Rôtie, Jamet poured a couple of older wines from hot years. Both the 2009 and 1989 Côte Rôties were singing. The '89 he compared to the '18, calling it, "fumé, lardé, épicé." He concluded, "I'm confident in hot vintages, because with time, the terroir emerges." (JC)
A generous vintage for this wine, with a gorgeous, lifted lime and orange blossom nose, a touch of jasmine from the Viognier. Good acidity and sense of tension allied with a sapid finish makes for a drinkable style. Very good white option for 2018. Marsanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, all grown close to Côte-Rôtie. Drinking Window 2019 - 2020. (MW)
Showing more Marsanne character, the 2018 Côtes du Rhône Blanc is another rich, yet also fresh white that displays lots of white flowers, honeysuckle, hints of brioche, and peach aromas and flavors. It's another food-friendly, rounded, supple, beautiful white.
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