This is an engaging quote from Pliny the Younger, who noted that the wines of the region around Vienne (home to the famous vineyards of the Northern Rhône) smelled of violets. It remains true to this day!
This wine comes from the Côte-Rôtie, or "roasted slope." There is in fact more than a single slope in Côte-Rôtie, as the vineyards follow the contours of the east/southeast-facing edge of the Rhône river for some three miles.
The Vineyard Designation
The Côte-Rôtie is roughly broken down into two halves: the Côte Brune and the Côte Blonde. There are well-known vineyards that lie within each half; the most famous of these plots are La Mouline in the Côte Blonde and La Turque in the Côte Brune.
A wine that is labelled as Côte Brune or Côte Blonde can be comprised of wines that were produced from various plots within each Côte and don't necessarily refer to a single, contiguous vineyard.