Vertical on the Roasted Slope
I had the rare opportunity to enjoy a vertical tasting of Domaine Ogier Côte-Rôtie at the "MoCool" offline gathering of Internet wine lovers over the weekend in Michigan. This tasting, with the winery's Stephane Ogier on hand to discuss his wines, featured all the Ogier bottlings from 1988 through 1999; it was said to be the largest formal tasting in history for this sought-after Rhone property.
Côte-Rôtie - literally "the roasted hillside" - is one of the most celebrated sections of the Northern Rhone. Its wines, made almost entirely of Syrah, sometimes with just a dash of white Viognier to give zippy acidity to the blend, are among my favorite Rhones.
Domaine Ogier is one of the newest wine estates in the region. Although the Ogier family has grown grapes in the region for generations, Stephane's father, Michel, began to sell his own wines commercially only about 15 years ago. In that short period, Domaine Ogier has become known, according to the critic Robert M. Parker Jr., as "an unheralded source of profound Côte-Rôtie."
Because of its minuscule production - the family owns just 6.5 hectares of vineyards and only 2.5 hectares (a little over 6 acres) in Côte-Rôtie - Ogier wines, unfortunately, are hard to find. If you're desperate to try some (and if you're lucky enough to live in a state or region that permits Internet wine buying), you might look for an online vendor at http://www.wine-searcher.com.
I have included brief notes on two Ogier wines below. For my full report on the Ogier tasting including notes on all the wines, click to http://www.wineloverspage.com/mocool/mocool082601.shtml. For details on all the MoCool tastings (and a form to sign up for an E-mail list to be notified about next year's gathering), see http://www.wineloverspage.com/mocool.
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Two from Ogier
With its big and open aromas of smoky bacon, pleasant "barnyard" and fresh black fruit, this robust wine stood out from its siblings in the vertical tasting. The flavors are consistent with the nost, big and appealing. It invites gulping ... but you really should take the time to savor it.
Michel Ogier 1998 "La Rosine" Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah
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Vol. 3, No. 32, Aug. 27, 2001