2015 Christophe Billon "Cote Rozier" Côte-Rotie (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1292327 97 points Decanter

 Inky, dark berry fruit plunges through the nose. Sleek palate and handsome tannins. Top grade; a triumph. Drinking Window 2019 - 2037  (3/2017)

94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Moving to the reds, the 2015 Côte Rôtie Côte Rozier is a serious, masculine, structured effort that’s not going to be for those looking for instant gratification. Gunpowder, crushed rocks, smoked black fruits and background meatiness all give way to a concentrated, tannic red that’s going to require 5-7 years of bottle age. This vintage includes 2% Viognier, was partially destemmed and will see over two years in 50% new barrels. This was a sensational lineup of wines from Côte Rôtie-based Christophe Billon. (JD)  (12/2016)

K&L Notes

One of our great new finds this year came from our visit to Christophe Billon in Côte-Rotie. Residing in the lieu-dit of Côte Rozier, Billon has flown under the radar for far too long. While working at Guigal, Christophe and his wife Maryline began this side project in 1991. He left Guigal in 2008 to dedicate his full time to their estate vineyards. Christophe now makes three Côte-Roties along with an entry-level Syrah, Viognier and a beautiful Condrieu. When we visited, he took us on a little cellar tour, climbing up and down barrels to pull tasting samples with his wine thief. (Keith Mabry, K&L Rhône buyer)

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Price: $59.99
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Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/19/2017 | Send Email
This is the first vintage this wine has been bottled as a single lieu-dit (designated vineyard site). It is everything one could hope for in a Côte-Rotie with its aromas of grilled meats and crushed rocks. The wine is superbly complex but will require a little patience with its firm tannins.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market. View our bestselling Rhone Valley wines.
Specific Appellation:

Cote Rotie