Commanding, persuasive personality with fine, fragrant scents of blackberry, wood smoke and undergrowth. Huge structure, with poised acidity, grippy tannins and complex, delicious hints of strawberry jam, violet, bacon and tapenade. The finish just goes on and on - a wonderful wine.
Decant for a couple of hours (any clean glass jug is fine) and savour alongside steak au poivre with Cognac sauce.
This wine is made from 100% Syrah (known elsewhere in the world as Shiraz) grown on south-facing slopes. The crop is entirely de-stemmed before crushing, so as to minimise green, sappy, herbal flavours. Maturation is one year in old oak barrels.
Côte Rôtie is a celebrated red wine appellation at the northern extremity of the Rhône region. As with the wines of sister AOP Crozes-Hermitage, up to 20% of white grape Viognier can be included in the blend - although producers don't typically go over 5% (and Lavau uses none here.) Côte Rôtie means "roasted slope" in French, an apt name for the mainly-south-facing vineyards that bake under the hot continental sun.
In 1964, the Lavau family founded a company that produced wine from bought-in grapes and then sold it on in the bulk wine market. In 2000, Frederic and brother Benoit Lavau took control and the boys totally changed the direction of the business, deciding to start bottling their wine under the present Lavau label.