One of the legendary vintages for this cuvée is the 2017 Côte Rôtie La Turque, a blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier from a tiny parcel in the Côte Brune lieu-dit. Always aged 4 years in new French oak, it offers a dense, saturated purple color as well as slightly more masculine notes of blackberries, smoked meats, dark chocolate, and graphite. Full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, and perfectly balanced, with incredible purity of fruit, it already offers pleasure but will ideally be given 5-7 years of bottle age. It will deliver the goods for 30 to 40 years. It’s the star of the show in 2017 and one of the wines of the vintage.
A common refrain regarding the La-Las is that they require a decade or more of cellaring to come around. In fact, they're often quite open and appealing soon after release, only to close down shortly thereafter. The 2017 Cote Rotie La Turque offers up hints of crushed stone and struck flint, smoky, bacon-fat aromas and ripe, mouthwatering blackberries. Full-bodied, creamy and rich, it's a powerful, concentrated effort that should still be drinking well in two decades.
I loved the 2017 Côte Rôtie La Turque, which shows the sunny warmth of the vintage while staying balanced, pure, and light on its feet. Awesome notes of ripe black fruits, chocolate, spice box, and incense emerge from the glass and it’s full-bodied, has building tannins, a weightless texture, and a monster of a finish. This quintessential La Turque will deliver plenty of charm in its youth, yet benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age, and age for 30-35 years as well.
Wonderfully perfumed and floral, the 2017 Cote Rotie La Turque was singing at full voice when I tasted it. The marvelous blueberry and raspberry fruit is broad and expansive on the full-bodied palate without being heavy or overly rich, perfectly framed by soft, dusty tannins on a lingering finish. It will be fascinating to follow this wine and compare it over the decades to the 2015 and 2018.