TN: Notes from a nice Northern Rhone dinner

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Alan Rath
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TN: Notes from a nice Northern Rhone dinner

#1 Post by Alan Rath » August 14th, 2019, 3:18 pm

Had the good fortune to be invited to join a very nice Rhone dinner:

2011 Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillées de l'Enfer - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu (6/12/2019)
This is on the leaner side, with strong minerality, a bit austere, though with some nice complexity. Not sure how it will develop further in bottle, maybe this is a wine that will turn into something wonderful down the road? (90 pts.)

2012 Marie et Pierre Bénetière Condrieu - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu (6/12/2019)
Moderate depth of fruit, quite mineral, seems to show some wood notes? maybe lees? Today this bottle is not giving up a lot. (89 pts.)

2013 Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu Coteau de Vernon - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu (6/12/2019)
Lightly classic Viognier nose, nice slightly leaner fruit, touch of moderate richness turns mineral and steely. Probably could use a few more years in bottle. A burgundy winemaker in attendance said this was from underripe fruit. (91 pts.)

1999 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (6/12/2019)
Fabulous waxy, nutty, medium fruit, good acidity for a Rhone, particularly of this age, turns mineral on the long finish. Just beautiful, but note that I am very fond of Chave Blanc. (94 pts.)

2002 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (6/12/2019)
Quite nice, though a bit less intensity and more minerality than the 99 tasted along side. Lean and sleek, but quite tasty. (91 pts.)

2016 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph Blanc Les Oliviers - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (6/12/2019)
Served blind. Seems almost a white burg nose, but the palate says Rhone, with its nutty, waxy, crisp fruit, quite fresh, lively, and tasty. Loved this, note says "buy more". (93 pts.)

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1988 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (6/12/2019)
Pure, slightly austere, medium dark cherry fruit, some creosote, very nice though still fairly tannic and rustic. That straight arrow character that is Clape. (92 pts.)

1990 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (6/12/2019)
Nice medium body, medium cherry fruit, bit of a volcanic rock touch, but also some distracting brett bitterness. The more old Clape I drink, the more I find it good, but unexciting. (89 pts.)

1988 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (6/12/2019)
Earthy, forest mushroom, slightly herbal nose, then gorgeous sweet fruit, explosive mid-palate, smooth, rich finish, perfectly resolved and at peak, with all the signature Jamet strawberry/spice/herb complexity. (94 pts.)

1993 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (6/12/2019)
On the nose dried herb, underbrush, not quite the spice as the 88 tasted alongside; intense deep cherry/strawberry fruit, light spice, just beautiful wine. (94 pts.)

1997 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (6/12/2019)
Light spice and dried herbs on the nose, typical Jamet medium body strawberry dominated fruit, fairly strongly spiced on the palate, presumably from the warmer vintage. (92 pts.)

1990 Noël Verset Cornas - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (6/12/2019)
Beautiful, medium body, sweeter strawberry/raspberry fruit, streak of light strawberry sweetnees; with air a light spice note comes out to play. Beautiful and ethereal wine. Sadly, a bottle of 88 was corked, but I sampled it and could tell through the TCA that it had much the same character as this wonderful 90. (94 pts.)

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1989 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (6/12/2019)
Lovely, clean medium cherry fruit, great balance, still some present tannins, subtly complex, pure and delicious. (93 pts.)

1997 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (6/12/2019)
Fabulous spice/truffle nose, gorgeous clean, pure cherry fruit, beautiful balance and complexity. A great Chave, from an unheralded vintage. (94 pts.)

1999 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (6/12/2019)
Richer and riper than the 97 tasted alongside, with intense deep cherry fruit, good acidity, very intense - almost overwhelms the palate. Missing the signature Chave truffle notes, and hard to find much complexity showing through the rich fruit. A showy wine, but give me the off vintages. (92 pts.)

2000 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (6/12/2019)
Wonderfully truffled nose, deeply intense fruit, but controlled and less ripe than the 99 tasted alonside; great depth and overall balance, still young and yet to develop more complexity, but delicious. (93 pts.)

2008 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (6/12/2019)
More medium weight than the other Chave vintages tasted today, has a great savory spice character, more dark raspberry than cherry fruit, young but quite drinkable. I would love to see this in a blind lineup of grand cru Burgs. No doubt it would stick out, but it has much of the same quality and character. Another wonderful off vintage, one I think will continue to develop and improve for at least a decade. (92 pts.)

2014 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (6/12/2019)
Another "off" vintage, starts with a light nose, medium depth, more savory dark cherry, almost black fruit, quite reserved and brooding. Definitely backward and a little hard to judge at this young stage, but could be a real sleeper that unfurls to an amazing wine in 20+ years. (93 pts.)

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2006 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (6/12/2019)
Big and rich, slightly round and fleshy, deep dark fruit, bit of spice, really delicious. I'm not sure if this is a long term wine that's going to become even better and more interesting with age, it's tempting to drink now for the pure joy it exudes. (92 pts.)

2001 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (6/12/2019)
Medium full body, intense and deep yet somehow elegant and restrained at the same time. Fabulous now, probably better with more time in bottle. (94 pts.)

Greg K
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Re: TN: Notes from a nice Northern Rhone dinner

#2 Post by Greg K » August 14th, 2019, 3:26 pm

That must have been great Alan. We had a 97 Chave at a dinner recently and it was one of our wines of the night as well - the nose was just unbelievable, even if the power isn't quite there as it might be in the best vintages.
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Dennis Atick
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Re: TN: Notes from a nice Northern Rhone dinner

#3 Post by Dennis Atick » August 14th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Man, that is a nice lineup, Alan! Helpful as I own some of the Clape and Allemands. Well done.
Verset. Ftw. i wish I was a buyer back in the day.
Great notes.
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Markus S
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Re: TN: Notes from a nice Northern Rhone dinner

#4 Post by Markus S » August 14th, 2019, 4:18 pm

No notes on the lone Valentini? [stirthepothal.gif] (and how did this fit into the Rhones?)

As much as I enjoy reading notes of Chave, I miss being able to purchase them. Had the 1988 blanc earlier in the year that was stellar.
$ _ € ® e . k @

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