I don't often plunk down $50 for a bottle of wine to take home and drink that night. I made an exception with this Côte Rôtie for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a region I have become increasingly interested in, as I believe it to be the most elegant and complex source of Syrah based wines in the world. And second, this Domaine is located in the small town of Ampuis (the center of the Côte Rôtie growing region) which my wife and I will be visiting on our trip to France this month. Needless to say, the wine did not disappoint! The interplay of expressive florals, pepper, graphite, dark fruit compote and grilled and smoked meats is absolutely stunning and sets Côte Rôtie apart, in my opinion, from all other Syrahs. (In keeping with the age-old tradition, there is a two percent dollop of Viognier in the blend.) The bright acidity puts the wine on a high wire of balance, and will provide the necessary backbone to carry the wine's development well into the future. The streamlined structure will be tamed by time: ten to fifteen years would be a good guess. This 19 acre estate is now in the capable hands of young Maxime Gourdaine who recently took over from his uncle, Louis Drevon—another excellent example of the "passing of the baton" to a dedicated, passionate younger generation that seems to be happening in many of the hallowed wine growing regions of France. It's also worth noting that, at $49, it is the least expensive Côte Rôtie that we've had in the store in recent memory.