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Not counting the much larger Guigal domaine, Rene Rostaing is the closest thing to a true cult star that Côte-Rôtie has yet produced. A grower since 1971, his first vineyard purchases were a microscopic half acre each in Côte Blonde and in La Landonne on the Côte Brune. The real breakthrough came when his father-in-law, Albert Dervieux-Thaize retired in 1990, followed by his uncle Marius Gentaz-Dervieux three years later. Between these two legendary growers, Rostaing acquired over ten acres of very old vines in some of the appellation’s top sites. The vineyard expansion also enabled René to quit his day job in 1991, and to devote himself full time to winemaking.
Today, Rostaing can boast 20+ acres of the finest vineyards in and around Côte-Rôtie. The wealth of vineyard holdings results in an astonishing array of wines. From several parcels of old vines that immediatly adjoin Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu, Rostaing produces a gorgeous non-appellation white and red called Les Lezardes. In Condrieu, he holds a tiny parcel in La Bonnette that yields some of the region’s most refined Viognier. Most of his Côte-Rôtie parcels are blended to produce the Cuvée Classique, a terrific expression of the appellation. And, of course, there are his two prized Côte-Rôtie special cuvées, La Landonne and Côte Blonde.