This year’s blend of Syrah La Côte Rousse is nearly equal portions of our two Red Mountain Syrah vineyard sources, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road. Once again the synergy between these two sites and the four clones creates a blend of power, complexity and completeness.
The mid-season heat was a factor with these Red Mountain vineyards, as the berries can easily sunburn or become “heat affected” so that they never quite ripen right. We shade the clusters with the leaf canopy, especially on the western-facing side, to avoid these problems. It worked well, yielding small berries that actually needed very little hand-sorting. The result is a wine that’s the runner-up for blackest of the Syrahs (see La Côte Patriarche below!), with super density, yet an approachability that’s uncommon for this blend. Very sweet in the nose, with big black cherries, smoke, floral spice and an earthy/truffle note. This is Red Mountain at its best, with dimension yet elegance, packed black fruits, yet a creamy, plush impression.
Wine Advocate 93 Points
The 2009 Syrah La Cote Rousse (100%) was sourced from two of the better Red Mountain vineyards and aged for 12 months in 50% new French oak. Sexy aromas of smoke, exotic spices, brier, incense, blueberry, and black raspberry lead to a plush, layered, round Syrah with a sense of elegance. This lengthy, concentrated, nicely proportioned effort will also evolve for 2-3 years and provide pleasure through 2023.-JM
International Wine Cellar 94 Points
Good bright medium ruby. Tight, pure aromas of black raspberry, strawberry, white pepper and flowers, complicated by a sexy apricot quality. Suave on entry, then spicy and aromatic in the middle, with firm acidity and a repeating note of white pepper contributing to the impression of sharp definition. This dense, supple wine is very long on the aftertaste.-ST