Northern Rhone roundup

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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#51 Post by MikeL238 »

So I figured this might be a thread I seek some insight/opinion rather than starting a whole new thread.

I stumbled upon a 1999 Sylviane et Jacques Lemenicier Cornas at a local shop. It was all in $40. Never heard of the producer, but given my affinity for Cornas, figured why not. Opened it today and holy $hit it was incredible. Nose was totally feral, very similar to Levet, and palate was exceptional with violets, pepper, red berries with just enough rusticity and acid. Probably the best $40 I've ever spent on a bottle.

Was just curious if it's a well known producer that I just happened to not know or a hidden gem? Couldn't really find info online so wanted to ask the experts. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#52 Post by Robert M yers »

Mike, that’s a new name for me but I looked him up on Livingston’s site which led me here

https://www.mwines.com/jacques-lemenicier/

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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#53 Post by Zachary Ross »

MikeL238 wrote: March 25th, 2021, 5:45 pm So I figured this might be a thread I seek some insight/opinion rather than starting a whole new thread.

I stumbled upon a 1999 Sylviane et Jacques Lemenicier Cornas at a local shop. It was all in $40. Never heard of the producer, but given my affinity for Cornas, figured why not. Opened it today and holy $hit it was incredible. Nose was totally feral, very similar to Levet, and palate was exceptional with violets, pepper, red berries with just enough rusticity and acid. Probably the best $40 I've ever spent on a bottle.

Was just curious if it's a well known producer that I just happened to not know or a hidden gem? Couldn't really find info online so wanted to ask the experts. [cheers.gif]

I've only tried one vintage of Lemenicier's Cornas, the 2015. My note:

6/4/2017
Not that interesting. In a vintage that often provides fireworks, this is pretty foursquare and boring.


But all the right stores carry his wines. I ought to try more. Where did you find the 1999?
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#54 Post by MikeL238 »

Zachary Ross wrote: March 26th, 2021, 5:14 am
MikeL238 wrote: March 25th, 2021, 5:45 pm So I figured this might be a thread I seek some insight/opinion rather than starting a whole new thread.

I stumbled upon a 1999 Sylviane et Jacques Lemenicier Cornas at a local shop. It was all in $40. Never heard of the producer, but given my affinity for Cornas, figured why not. Opened it today and holy $hit it was incredible. Nose was totally feral, very similar to Levet, and palate was exceptional with violets, pepper, red berries with just enough rusticity and acid. Probably the best $40 I've ever spent on a bottle.

Was just curious if it's a well known producer that I just happened to not know or a hidden gem? Couldn't really find info online so wanted to ask the experts. [cheers.gif]

I've only tried one vintage of Lemenicier's Cornas, the 2015. My note:

6/4/2017
Not that interesting. In a vintage that often provides fireworks, this is pretty foursquare and boring.


But all the right stores carry his wines. I ought to try more. Where did you find the 1999?
Thanks for the note Zach. This was my first Lemenicier so can't say how it compares to other vintages, but '99 for sure was on fire. Should have saved some for today to see if it further develops, but ended up finishing it last night [snort.gif] .

I found the bottle at Good Wine in Park Slope. I don't think they even knew they had it as it was buried in the back and I somehow spotted it.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#55 Post by MikeL238 »

Robert M yers wrote: March 26th, 2021, 4:48 am Mike, that’s a new name for me but I looked him up on Livingston’s site which led me here

https://www.mwines.com/jacques-lemenicier/
Nice, thanks for the link Robert!
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#56 Post by Zachary Ross »

MikeL238 wrote: March 26th, 2021, 7:14 am
Zachary Ross wrote: March 26th, 2021, 5:14 am
MikeL238 wrote: March 25th, 2021, 5:45 pm So I figured this might be a thread I seek some insight/opinion rather than starting a whole new thread.

I stumbled upon a 1999 Sylviane et Jacques Lemenicier Cornas at a local shop. It was all in $40. Never heard of the producer, but given my affinity for Cornas, figured why not. Opened it today and holy $hit it was incredible. Nose was totally feral, very similar to Levet, and palate was exceptional with violets, pepper, red berries with just enough rusticity and acid. Probably the best $40 I've ever spent on a bottle.

Was just curious if it's a well known producer that I just happened to not know or a hidden gem? Couldn't really find info online so wanted to ask the experts. [cheers.gif]

I've only tried one vintage of Lemenicier's Cornas, the 2015. My note:

6/4/2017
Not that interesting. In a vintage that often provides fireworks, this is pretty foursquare and boring.


But all the right stores carry his wines. I ought to try more. Where did you find the 1999?
Thanks for the note Zach. This was my first Lemenicier so can't say how it compares to other vintages, but '99 for sure was on fire. Should have saved some for today to see if it further develops, but ended up finishing it last night [snort.gif] .

I found the bottle at Good Wine in Park Slope. I don't think they even knew they had it as it was buried in the back and I somehow spotted it.


So fun to make great finds like that. Do you live in Park Slope? I'm in Clinton Hill.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#57 Post by Lonnie F. »

Great notes. I could taste the wines. Glad I have some 2021 budget for northern Rhone.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#58 Post by D Lieberman »

Zachary Ross wrote: March 15th, 2021, 1:41 pm Some recent wines, many of them great.

[*]1988 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (1/31/2021)
Flippin' epic showing; blind via small bottles from Seth. The nose at first is musty cellar, moss, and antique cabinetry (this had me leaning Burgundy) but it rounds out with air to show beautiful red fruit tinged with leather, soy, meat locker, and some bretty barn door. Beautiful to drink and rivetingly fresh, it's all red fruit and umami spectrum flavors, very long and utterly captivating. The funky brett and the resolved core of red fruit reminded me of Levet, which was my guess. This gained vigor and intensity over the course of a couple of hours and showed no signs of stopping. A pour from a second small bottle showed smokier and brinier than the first, revealing more archetypal Syrah notes. What a great wine!

88 Guigal was a gateway wine for many of us of a certain age who were in the early stages of exploring the Northern Rhone on its release. So glad to hear it is still showing so well!
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#59 Post by LasseK »

A had a few Northern Rhone wines over the last weeks, so makes sense to add notes here.

Matthieu Barret, Cornas, Brise Cailloux, 2015:

Behind a red fruited elegance there is some black currants and blackberries. There are many of the famous Syrah markers, like pepper, olives, meat and dried flowers. But they are all quiet in the background of the fruit. Nothing is bursting out at an amplified volume. Missing some whole cluster action here (fully destemmed). But a great elegant take on Syrah. This is a wine made with low to no added SO2. But it is not a funky wine in any way.

Gonon, Saint-Joseph, 2009:

Bursting out of the glass. But the vintage shows a bit, with a riper and sexy fruit. It feels very luxurious and is a very good wine, but would probably prefer another vintage.

Allemand, Chaillot, 1999:

We often talk about cold climate wines. But for me Syrah is the only grape that can actually create fruit notes that feels cold. This bottle had a perfect mix of fresh young cold crunchy fruit and more developed dried fruit. Some leather notes as well. With air the pepper and smoked meats showed up on spades. Amazing nose and so smooth on the palette, with some chocolate notes as well. Close to perfection.

Jean-Luc Jamet, Cote-Rotie, Terrasses, 2016:

Initially very floral, with a lovely ripe raspberry note and some barnyard funk. Underneath you find black currants and plums. With some air the classic savoury and peppery notes show up along with some green stemmy and herbal notes (35% whole clusters).
So far very classic Côte-Rôtie and very elegant. 13% abv.
Then there is the oak. 20% of the barrels are new. I don't know the age on the rest, but there is a clear oak note. It is well balanced though and not overly dominating, but it does make the wine feel a bit more modern than the other producers i have tasted Côte-Rôtie from lately, like Levet and Barge. I like it but it will need time to integrate the oak.

Some copy pasting from my IG. But I hope it is of interest to some of you. 🙂
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#60 Post by IlkkaL »

LasseK wrote: March 26th, 2021, 11:54 pm A had a few Northern Rhone wines over the last weeks, so makes sense to add notes here.

Matthieu Barret, Cornas, Brise Cailloux, 2015:

Behind a red fruited elegance there is some black currants and blackberries. There are many of the famous Syrah markers, like pepper, olives, meat and dried flowers. But they are all quiet in the background of the fruit. Nothing is bursting out at an amplified volume. Missing some whole cluster action here (fully destemmed). But a great elegant take on Syrah. This is a wine made with low to no added SO2. But it is not a funky wine in any way.

Gonon, Saint-Joseph, 2009:

Bursting out of the glass. But the vintage shows a bit, with a riper and sexy fruit. It feels very luxurious and is a very good wine, but would probably prefer another vintage.

Allemand, Chaillot, 1999:

We often talk about cold climate wines. But for me Syrah is the only grape that can actually create fruit notes that feels cold. This bottle had a perfect mix of fresh young cold crunchy fruit and more developed dried fruit. Some leather notes as well. With air the pepper and smoked meats showed up on spades. Amazing nose and so smooth on the palette, with some chocolate notes as well. Close to perfection.

Jean-Luc Jamet, Cote-Rotie, Terrasses, 2016:

Initially very floral, with a lovely ripe raspberry note and some barnyard funk. Underneath you find black currants and plums. With some air the classic savoury and peppery notes show up along with some green stemmy and herbal notes (35% whole clusters).
So far very classic Côte-Rôtie and very elegant. 13% abv.
Then there is the oak. 20% of the barrels are new. I don't know the age on the rest, but there is a clear oak note. It is well balanced though and not overly dominating, but it does make the wine feel a bit more modern than the other producers i have tasted Côte-Rôtie from lately, like Levet and Barge. I like it but it will need time to integrate the oak.

Some copy pasting from my IG. But I hope it is of interest to some of you. 🙂
Interesting they are for sure, thanks! Surprising to hear about the oak on the JL Jamet. I haven't bought the 2016 (yet) but did buy the 2015, yet to try it though.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#61 Post by Zachary Ross »

Great notes, thanks!
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#62 Post by LasseK »

IlkkaL wrote: March 27th, 2021, 12:57 am
Interesting they are for sure, thanks! Surprising to hear about the oak on the JL Jamet. I haven't bought the 2016 (yet) but did buy the 2015, yet to try it though.
Just want to point out that i think it is a very good wine and I think it will become amazing down the line.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#63 Post by LasseK »

I forgot a wine!

A & E Verset, Cornas, 2018:

On my quest to fill the cellar with Northern Rhone Syrah, i have mostly avoided the 2018 vintage. A warm ripe vintage. But when i read a great review of this wine, i thought why not try it.

Verset makes Cornas in the most traditional way. Whole cluster, matured in neutral demi-muids, native yeasts, no temperature control, no fining and no filtration. This is the kind of Syrah i often look for. The grapes are sourced from some of the top sites in Cornas. When i first poured it into my decanter i could smell it at a distance. It is that kind of nose that just explodes in the glass.

It is very floral with lots of pepper. It has an unmature green hint and fresh red berries. All on top of a darker ripe and dried fruit. Yes it is ripe and with 14,5% abv there is no denying the vintage. But the greenish stemmy notes somehow manage to counterplay the ripe fruit and keep a perception of freshness. The acidity is also very well balanced. On the palette the young primary fruit dominates along notes of pepper and licorice. There is a bitterness and a litte heat at the end. The structure is surprisingly approachable for a Cornas, but it will still gain from a few years in the cellar.

I really like this wine. Yes i would prefer the fruit to be less ripe and the alcohol to be lower, but as long as it is this balanced it is still an awesome wine i enjoy very much.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#64 Post by IlkkaL »

LasseK wrote: March 27th, 2021, 9:51 am
IlkkaL wrote: March 27th, 2021, 12:57 am
Interesting they are for sure, thanks! Surprising to hear about the oak on the JL Jamet. I haven't bought the 2016 (yet) but did buy the 2015, yet to try it though.
Just want to point out that i think it is a very good wine and I think it will become amazing down the line.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#65 Post by Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ »

Awesome notes Lasse. 2009 Gonon is a great check-in.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#66 Post by Zachary Ross »

Addendum: it's not all rainbows and unicorns in my cellar.

  • 1994 Marie-Claude Lafoy et Vincent Gasse Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (4/3/2021)
    Old. No particular flaw, just old. The nose is pretty correct, and actually rather effusive if marked by a whiff of paint thinner, but it has mostly dried up on the palate. I didn't expect much and I got it.
    2016 Domaine des Miquettes St. Joseph Madloba - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (4/3/2021)
    This came across dark, rough and brutally young on the first night - playing a bit against type, vintage-wise. I put it away and came back two days later: that was a mistake. Now it's a natural wine disaster, sharply sour and with a mammoth gout-de-souris finish. Truly revolting. Avoid.
  • 2017 Domaine Jolivet St. Joseph 1907 - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (4/3/2021)
    Woof. This was really mediocre, clumsy lactic nose, blocky foursquare palate. These new wave St.-Jos that are all the hype and cost $60 - my patience is wearing thin.
  • 2012 Jacques Lemenicier Cornas - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (4/3/2021)
    At first this was awful with a big, ghastly nose of yogurt/kefir and a cloying affect on the palate; DNPIM. I left it alone for a while, and with air this has come around some - there's still a trace of lactic badness on the nose but now a clearer sense of rich brewed fruit and a classic animale gamy perfumy funk. On the palate there's more brewed (stewed?) fruit, coffee, bit of game, tart finish. Not that impressive honestly.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#67 Post by MikeL238 »

Zachary Ross wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 6:58 pm Addendum: it's not all rainbows and unicorns in my cellar.

  • 1994 Marie-Claude Lafoy et Vincent Gasse Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (4/3/2021)
    Old. No particular flaw, just old. The nose is pretty correct, and actually rather effusive if marked by a whiff of paint thinner, but it has mostly dried up on the palate. I didn't expect much and I got it.
    2016 Domaine des Miquettes St. Joseph Madloba - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (4/3/2021)
    This came across dark, rough and brutally young on the first night - playing a bit against type, vintage-wise. I put it away and came back two days later: that was a mistake. Now it's a natural wine disaster, sharply sour and with a mammoth gout-de-souris finish. Truly revolting. Avoid.
  • 2017 Domaine Jolivet St. Joseph 1907 - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (4/3/2021)
    Woof. This was really mediocre, clumsy lactic nose, blocky foursquare palate. These new wave St.-Jos that are all the hype and cost $60 - my patience is wearing thin.
  • 2012 Jacques Lemenicier Cornas - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (4/3/2021)
    At first this was awful with a big, ghastly nose of yogurt/kefir and a cloying affect on the palate; DNPIM. I left it alone for a while, and with air this has come around some - there's still a trace of lactic badness on the nose but now a clearer sense of rich brewed fruit and a classic animale gamy perfumy funk. On the palate there's more brewed (stewed?) fruit, coffee, bit of game, tart finish. Not that impressive honestly.
Guess Lemenicier was good until the '99 vintage!
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#68 Post by A. So »

Zachary Ross wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 6:58 pm Addendum: it's not all rainbows and unicorns in my cellar.

  • 1994 Marie-Claude Lafoy et Vincent Gasse Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (4/3/2021)
    Old. No particular flaw, just old. The nose is pretty correct, and actually rather effusive if marked by a whiff of paint thinner, but it has mostly dried up on the palate. I didn't expect much and I got it.
    2016 Domaine des Miquettes St. Joseph Madloba - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (4/3/2021)
    This came across dark, rough and brutally young on the first night - playing a bit against type, vintage-wise. I put it away and came back two days later: that was a mistake. Now it's a natural wine disaster, sharply sour and with a mammoth gout-de-souris finish. Truly revolting. Avoid.
  • 2017 Domaine Jolivet St. Joseph 1907 - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (4/3/2021)
    Woof. This was really mediocre, clumsy lactic nose, blocky foursquare palate. These new wave St.-Jos that are all the hype and cost $60 - my patience is wearing thin.
  • 2012 Jacques Lemenicier Cornas - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (4/3/2021)
    At first this was awful with a big, ghastly nose of yogurt/kefir and a cloying affect on the palate; DNPIM. I left it alone for a while, and with air this has come around some - there's still a trace of lactic badness on the nose but now a clearer sense of rich brewed fruit and a classic animale gamy perfumy funk. On the palate there's more brewed (stewed?) fruit, coffee, bit of game, tart finish. Not that impressive honestly.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#69 Post by todd waldmann »

Thanks for the notes, Zach! We opened a bottle of the '06 Levet recently and your notes nailed it perfectly. What a wine...
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#70 Post by Zachary Ross »

I'm doing a little better today.
  • 2014 Louis Sozet Cornas - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (4/4/2021)
    This really is unique - what a strange and beguiling wine. According to Livingston-Learmonth, only 400 bottles of this vintage were produced. The nose is much as Rollerball states - tiny little ripe cherries, dry herbs, a sense of roasted something, light touch of soy sauce, faint notes of amaretto, and something like toasted straw. The body is light - very light for Cornas - and the wine is fresh and delicate. The wine runs freely and flavors come across as savory herbed meat and soft, delicate, mulled cherries, among other elements that escape description. With air Syrah's briny edge becomes more apparent. Everything is wild and unexpected; I suppose it has to be Cornas, but this breaks the mold, is sui generis. It's so out of character for the appellation that I'm not sure this is an instant favorite, but it's truly its own thing. I am grateful for the experience and look forward to tasting the other vintages of this that I managed to buy.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#71 Post by AndreasB »

I had these over the last couple of weeks:

Alain Verset Cornas 2018
Very aromatic with black berries, pepper and a little green notes as well, which I like a lot. The wine is not too ripe and I enjoyed it very much, but on the other hand I would have preferred a little more structure. This is definitely something I'll try again in the future and I also think prices are very fair.

Jean Michel Gerin Saint-Joseph 2017
This is a very elegant wine, that I found to have a great balance and freshness to it. Nothing sticks out and it is a joy to drink. It doesn't have the depth of a good Cornas, but that is not what I am looking for in this kind of wine anyway. I haven't tried their Cote Rotie's but this certaintly made me a future buyer of their more expensive bottles.

Vincent Paris Geynale 2018
Again like the Verset it comes of very aromatic, but even with a more complex smell, that still feels fresh and really makes you want to drink it. Like the smell the taste is also more complex compared to the Verset and feels a bit more elegant and fresh. Still I would like a bit more structure. Again I think prices a very good for the quality this offers.
I was very impressed by this wine and thus went out and bought some 2019s along with some Levet Cote Rotie Maestria 2016 (I think it is Les Journaries in the US).
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#72 Post by Zachary Ross »

Thanks for these. We'll see about 2018!

I haven't tried Alain Verset's wines at all. And from what people post about them, it seems like Paris's wines get better with every vintage. I probably should cellar the Geynale but you can't buy everything.
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Re: Northern Rhone roundup

#73 Post by LasseK »

I liked the 2018 Verset as well. But it is big and ripe (14,5% abv). But there is a lot of whole cluster action going on which i like a lot. After tasting the 2018 i bought a little more, but i will try and find some 2016 myself.
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