"René Rostaing has made a life’s work of defending the idea that Côte Rôtie should taste like Côte Rôtie, not like Hermitage, and certainly not like new world Syrah. In fact, he is nothing less than a beacon for those we’ve called the region’s “Classicists”—vignerons whose philosophies incorporate some new ideas while capturing the best of the region’s traditions—to make wines of purity and expression that are the essence of their region, village and vineyard.
A grower since 1971, his first vineyard purchases were a microscopic half acre each in Côte Blonde and in La Landonne on the Côte Brune. The real breakthrough came when his father-in-law, Albert Dervieux-Thaize, retired in 1990, followed by his uncle Marius Gentaz three years later. Between these two legendary growers, Rostaing acquired over ten acres of very old vines in some of the appellation’s top sites.
Today, Rostaing can boast 20+ acres of the finest vineyards in and around Côte Rôtie. The wealth of vineyard holdings results in an astonishing array of wines. From several parcels of old vines immediately adjoining Côte Rôtie and Condrieu, Rostaing produces a gorgeous non-appellation white and red called Les Lezardes.
In Condrieu, he holds a tiny parcel in Côte Bonnette that yields some of the region’s most refined Viognier. Most of his Côte Rôtie parcels are blended to produce the Cuvée Ampodium (formerly known as Classique), a superb expression of the appellation. And, of course, there are his two prized Côte Rôtie special cuvées, La Landonne and Côte Blonde.
Rostaing’s winemaking is deeply rooted in tradition while incorporating new thinking, always with a view to making wine of expression—in other words, wines that could come from nowhere else but Côte Rôtie.