The 1996 Cote Rotie appears to be superior to the 1995. The 1996 reveals a high degree of maturity, and less acidity than other northern Rhones. The grapes for this cuvee all came from Cote Brune vineyards, particularly Les Grandes Places and La Landonne. The wine includes a small percentage of Viognier in the blend, although I did not detect it in the aromatics or flavors. It exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, with an olive, cassis, and smoky-scented nose, lush, ripe, medium to full-bodied flavors, sound acidity, and a plush, succulent, velvety-textured finish. This wine should be forward for a Cote Rotie, and last for 10-15 years. As a postscript, readers should be aware that all the Tardieu-Laurent wines reviewed in this segment are very reasonably priced. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate # 113.
Robert Parker Score: 89-91/100