About this WINE
Domaine Rene Rostaing
Legal academic, property dealer and vigneron, René Rostaing crafts some of the finest Côte Rôties on the market today. He has owned 2 hectares in the Côte Blonde and La Landone since the 1970s but fortune has blessed him through his inheritance of four hectares of superbly sited vineyards from his father in law Albert Dervieux and another 1.4 hectares of particularly old vines from his uncle Marius Gentaz. He now has 7.4 hectares which in Côte Rôtie terms is a significant holding.
Rostaing is firmly in the modernist camp of Côte Rôtie producers, destemming the majority of his fruit and being one of the first producers to ferment using vinomatics (horizontal automatic vinifiers). However he dislikes the overt taste of new oak and uses a maximum of 15% in the maturation process. All the wines are bottled unfiltered.
It is a poor-yielding grape that is notoriously fickle to grow, being susceptible to a whole gamut of pests and diseases. Crucially it must be picked at optimum ripeness - if harvested too early and under-ripe the resulting wine can be thin, dilute and unbalanced, while if picked too late then the wine will lack the grape's distinctive peach and honeysuckle aroma. It is most successfully grown in the tiny appellations of Château-Grillet and Condrieu where it thrives on the distinctive arzelle granite-rich soils. It is also grown in Côte Rôtie where it lends aromatic richness to the wines when blended with Syrah.
Viognier has been on the charge in the Southern Rhône and the Languedoc throughout the 1990s and is now a key component of many white Côtes du Rhône. In Languedoc and Rousillon it is increasingly being bottled unblended and with notable success with richly fragrant wines redolent of overripe apricots and peaches and selling at a fraction of the price of their Northern Rhône cousins.