Magnificent Northern Rhône Syrah: New 92-95 point Côte Rôties

The Northern Rhône produces the world’s most complex and balanced expressions of Syrah. Particularly in Côte Rôtie, at the region’s northern limit, the wines combine inky, black, masculine fruit with extraordinary lift and finesse.

Our producer in Côte Rôtie is Christophe Bonnefond, who seems to make more impressive and well-balanced wines each year. Vinous’s Josh Raynolds writes, “a number of years ago Bonnefond made a conscious effort to dial back the ripeness that he was seeking in his vineyards. He also made the move to larger format barrels and smaller percentage of new oak. The result in 2017 is surprisingly accessible, perfumed wines that lean distinctly more towards elegance than brawn.”

We found Raynold’s characterization spot-on. Christophe somehow seems to coax more subtlety out of his vines with each passing year. His 2017s are magnificent — all three refined and vibrant. We’re excited to offer all three Côte Rôtie cuvées: their base cuvée Colline de Couzou, and their two top cuvées Côte Rozier and Les Rochains, both of which border the famous La Landonne vineyard.


Bonnefond Côte Rôtie 2017    ($58)
[Vinous 92] “black and blue fruits, licorice and succulent flowers, along with hints of cracked pepper and cola…sappy and energetic in style… supple tannins build on the finish, which clings with strong tenacity and resonating spiciness”

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Bonnefond Côte Rôtie “Les Rochains” 2017    ($72)
[Vinous 95] “expansive, smoke- and mineral-accented bouquet evokes fresh black and blue fruits, licorice, incense and violet… broad and muscular in style…plays richness off finesse with a steady hand and finishes with superb, dark-fruit-dominated tenacity”

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Bonefond Côte Rotie “Côte Rozier” 2017   ($72)
[Vinous 95] “expansive, smoke-tinged cherry, dark berry preserve, peony and incense aromas show excellent clarity…densely packed yet shockingly lively…superb energy on the seamless, strikingly long finish”

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