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Domaine du Monteillet, Fortis Cote-Rotie 2018

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Domaine du Monteillet Fortis Cote-Rotie
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97 points Jeb Dunnuck
"While the Les Grandes Places gets all the love, I also love the Fortis cuvée, which has a more approachable, seamless style that I adore. The 2018 Côte Rôtie Fortis (which includes 5% Viognier and was brought up in 40% new demi-muids) looks terrific and has full-bodied richness and depth as well as complex notes of black raspberries, ground pepper, crushed violets, and rendered bacon. It shows more smoky, meaty notes as it sits in the glass and delivers ripe tannins along with stunning balance."

Jancis Robinson
"Cask samples tasted at the domaine.
Sample cuvée 1
Silky, perfumed and succulent. Pitch perfect. Has the high floral notes of Syrah plus beautiful black fruit. Long, light body.
Sample cuvée 2
Leathery, medicinal, black cherry, bitter chocolate. Esoteric and earthy. Tarry, elemental.
Sample cuvée 3
Closed nose. Black cherry with a bitter, tart edge. Lots of extraction and tension. A useful blending component, giving dryness and backbone. 17.5/20 points. (RH)"

**** John Livingstone-Learmonth
"85-95% Syrah, 5-15% Viognier, young vines, from mainly rented vineyards on Le Combard (Ampuis, late 1990s) is 80% Blonde, 20% Brune/St Cyr wine (until 2005 was Montmain (1989), Les Bercheries (Tupin, 1998), Bons-Arrêts (Tupin, 2005-08), 75% destemmed, 3-week vinification, cap punching, aged new oak 580-litre casks 19-24 months, unfined, has risen from 5-6,000 b to 11,000 b; red robe, three-quarter depth.
dark red; has a curved, slightly sweet air, raspberry on a ripe-liqueur trail, a hint of black cherry, red berries, a little rocky snap. The palate is compact on debut, has style, plump notes, good swell moments, sun generosity, munchy tannins. There’s a hover of fragrance, pot-pourri dried flowers – it’s dark and fragrant, has solid quality. It’s pretty genuine, up tempo, modern, gives iron threads, nerve on the aftertaste, good terroir, lead pencil. The oak is firm at the end, and from 2024-25 it will be further inside the wine. 2042-44."

Vinous Reverie Notes
With a 57-acre domaine spanning Condrieu, Saint Joseph and Cote-Rotie, Stephane Montez’s success comes from a combination of hard work, experience, an intimate knowledge of his terroirs, and modern improvements of the classic winemaking process. To concentrate flavor in his grapes, Montez grasses 70% of the vine rows and rotates the grapes to maximize sun exposure. He places younger vines on terraces, so that the sun reflects off of the stones and shines back up onto the grapes. For red wines, Montez destalks the grapes and allows fermentation to proceed for 3-4 weeks at low temperature (23-30°C) with no added yeast. He uses le pigeage (punch-down) to extract more tannins from the skins, then ages the wines for 1-3 years in barrels. All wines are aged in a special kind of barrel called a demi-muid — a 580-liter oak cask, which makes his wines less dry than the traditional, smaller casks. A mixture of new and old oak is used for aging. Tasting Notes: Made from a blend of Syrah and 8-10% Viognier, Montez’s Côte Rôtie Fortis is fermented in a sandwich — Syrah first, then Viognier, then more Syrah on top — thus preventing over-oxidization of the Viognier grapes and releasing a fruitier, less dry feel than other Côte-Rôties. The complex nose offers spicy tapenade, brine, minerals, earth, and coffee grounds along with pungent herbal notes, particularly juniper. Full bodied. The palate suggests dark fruits, herbs, roasted meat, coffee grounds, black olives, earth, and tapenade plus something smoky. The long, lingering finish builds in fruity intensity over time. An overlying thin vein of minerality and ample tannins contribute to remarkable balance. Food Pairing: Grilled steak or barbecued meat.


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