This is a wine from the Rhone Valley. Cote du Rhone wines are always a dependable go to wine. I learned this very early in my wine tasting days. Cote Rotie is such a full big body wine that it can easily overpower a lot of dishes. The Rhone Valley is a very hot climate area that produces high alcoholic wines. Cote Rotie is not only big, but it ages very well and it has more terroir in the mouth, than most other wines that you will find. The terroir is so evident; I am inclined to say dirt, but what a glass of dirt.
The first bottle that I ever had was a 1971 and it bowled me over with its boldness. This may have been the first or second bottle that I had ever encountered such evidence of the terroir. I forget the restaurant that I found this bottle at, but I remember that the entrée was never even a contender when it went up against this champ.
It is not a wine that one sees very often either in a restaurant or even in a wine shop. The next time I encountered it was at a dinner club that specialized in aged grilled steaks with grilled vegetables that evening. This was a much better pairing for this wine, which was a 1967 vintage, it was more mature than the first bottle that I had, but it still had that distinctive mouth and feistiness.
Last month I had my third bottle, and it was a 2001 vintage. This had the most maturity in age of any bottle that I have had. I looked forward to seeing if it would be mellower. I did warn my Bride to expect a strong taste of terroir, which she has encountered more than a few times. I was surprised at how robust and firm this wine was, with no sign of mellowing. It was still full bodied, in your face and still brought such a case of déjà vu to my taste buds after almost a thirty year hiatus.
If you can find this wine in a store, by all means try one, but make sure that you pair it with a big dinner. This wine demands an equal, not a light weight dish. Go for the gusto.