Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rôtie Cellars 2011 North Rhone Blend, Walla Walla Valley

One of the most renowned regions in the Northern part of France’s Rhône Valley is Côte-Rôtie. Here’s a Washington maker that seeks to translate the best of the Rhône with Washington State grapes.

Impressive From the Get-Go

When we taste wines it is often a waiting game. We decant the wine, we swirl, we sip and we contemplate – “Do we really like this wine or not?”
The 2011 Northern Blend from Rôtie Cellars is a different animal. From the first drop, we loved this wine. Let me explain.
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War Between The North And South

I was introduced to Rôtie Cellars during my visit to the Taste of Washington event earlier this year in Seattle. I was attracted by the name and drawn in further by their beautiful wines.
Dozens of wines were tasted during that wine showcase, but I starred the Rôtie Southern Rhône Blend as one of my favorites. In Southern Rhône Syrah and Grenache blends predominate, while in the North, Syrah is the only red grape allowed.
During a conference this spring in Philadelphia, I was pleased to receive a bottle of the Northern Blend as a gift. As much as I enjoyed the Southern Blend, the Northern Blend is a mind bender.

Amazing Washington State Fruit And French Styling

Washington State wine is some of the best in the world and represents a true value. The reds are rich and flavorful and the region is one of the few in the US that produces quality Riesling. If you aren’t drinking Washington State Syrah, you should be.
The Rôtie Northern Blend uses grapes from the Patina and Dwelly vineyards in one of our favorite wine regions, Walla Walla Valley. The Syrah is co-fermented with 5% Viognier. Viognier is an elegant floral white grape. Its inclusion with a red wine is a Rhône hallmark.
The addition of Viognier makes all the difference. The Syrah is deep, dark and velvety. The Viognier pushes it over the top – adding another dimension with a flowery touch to the bouquet and a silkiness to the body.
There were a mere 600 cases produced of this wine, which was aged in French oak. The SRP is $40, but it’s drinking like a million bucks.
In case you can’t tell, we love this wine! It has our highest recommendation. We urge you to “go North” to sample this wine. We intend to try some of Rôtie Cellars other offerings, including their white Rhône blends.
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