Rostaing's Southern Gem

Along the entire Rhône Valley, 2016 was a great vintage. It was as true for Condrieu and Côte Rôtie in the far north as it was as the river prepares to empty into the Mediterranean near Nîmes and Arles.  

So Pierre Rostaing, in only his second vintage at the helm of Domaine Rostaing, achieved the same magic at his southerly Puech Noble, as he did with his historic 2016 Côte Rôties (10098 and 97 Wine Advocate ratings for his Côte Brune, Côte Blonde and La Landonne, respectively). 

Located just west of the Rhône—and not far from Provence—Puech Noble’s situation is unique. Its warm days and limestone galets roulés, have more in common with Chateauneuf du Pape's central plateau. But its high elevation and exposure to the sea make it significantly cooler, creating a providential home for the 40-year-old Syrah vines that dominate the site.

For more than two decades, the estate’s grand vin has won praise from critics as diverse as Jancis Robinson, Robert Parker and Andrew Jefford. Yet, a special year like 2016 places it on another level, seamlessly combining northern Rhône Syrah aromatics with the richness of a top-tier Bandol, in a wine that punches well above its weight class. 

Back Story
In the late 1990s, Pierre’s father René went in search of a place yet undiscovered—farther south but with a terroir in which his Northern-Rhône winemaking would be at home. He found it at Puech Noble in the village of Langlade near Nîmes. 

Four grape varieties were planted here, and the combination made for a strikingly new Rostaing wine: Northern-Rhône Syrah in character but with the goût de calcaire of the site, allied to the exotic sweetness of Grenache, and the deep, earthy tones of Mourvèdre. There is even a small amount of white Rolle grapes in the vineyard. And since we started importing it more than a decade ago, virtually every bottle of Puech Noble has gone to top restaurants, where it’s become a staple. 

But occasionally a vintage comes along that really excites us, transcending even the high standards the Rostaings have for this wine. In such vintages, we try to grab a few cases for private clients. With its profound Syrah, and the richness of the year, the 2016 is one such wine. We urge you not to miss it.

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