08` L-P Brut, 17` Entre Nous, 18` Latour-Giraud Meurs- Gen, 6 Cote Rotie/ Hermitage incl Chave, La Chapelle, Delas

A few of us enjoyed take out dinner and some wines with a theme of Cote Rotie/ Hermitage plus a few fill ins:

2008 LAURENT-PERRIER BRUT MILLESIME- when I first reviewed this champagne a few months ago, I mentioned that a couple of my champagne buddies around the globe had been encouraging me to try this one out claiming it is more ready than most of the other 2008 big boys that have been way too tight and ungiving early on such as Cristal, Dom and Taittinger Comtes; so, I bought some and this is the 3rd bottle from the stash and, like the others, it exuded elegance par excellence; of all of the lovely notes it sang, I kept coming back to its profound elegance; yes, it had really nice bright acidity with lemon zest, lime, apple and pear fruit, a tactilely pleasing creamy mousse and a palate cleansing finish, but the operative word here is ELEGANCE.


2017 ENTRE NOUS NAPA VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC- smooth and easy on the palate, this Sauv Blanc is a treat to drink by itself although most are super food friendly as was this one which worked well with our first 2 courses; and it was an atypical SB at that as the taste profile was devoid of the usual lemongrass and herbal notes; I got honeydew melon, pear, lemon and grapefruit along with an underlying streak of minerality; loved it.

2018 LATOUR-GIRAUD MEURSAULT-GENEVRIERES 1er Cru- mineral infused citrus fruit dominates the aromatics and continue on to be more specifically joined by lemon, lime, apple, pear and kiwi; the myriad of flavors framed this precocious beauty all the way through while being delivered in a medium to full bodied texture; its surprising balance at this early stage may be its hallmark; another righteous 2018 showing beautifully out of the gate.

We proceeded to drink the 6 Cote Rotie/ Hermitage wines in the following order:

1999 E. GUIGAL BRUNE et BLONDE COTE-ROTIE- this is a blend of fruit from both slopes of the hills above Ampuis, the Côte Blonde, having Silicone limestone soil, and Côte Brune, having soil rich in iron oxide; it is comprised of 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier; the first thing I looked for was the pepper and spice aromas and this had both plus mature blackberry. blueberry and black raspberry fruit all the way to the back end; it had a nice soft feel and finished with a hit of licorice, tobacco and smoke capping off the taste profile; I’ve had better bottles, but this one was good enough to please and remind of past stellar experiences.

1998 JABOULET LA CHAPELLE HERMITAGE- as with the Brune et Blonde, I’m looking for the pepper and spice that I so fondly recall this having and it obliged with copious amounts of both; the black pepper especially provided a nice accent to the blackberry, blueberry and black currant fruit and the soft and silky texture gave the tactile sensory receptors a fine jolt of ecstasy; I’ve had quite a few of this wine and all have been really good although there was a string of years this fell in the middle of where consistency was fleeting. This also served to rekindle many fond memories of the taste offs we used to have between the 89 and the 90 with both showing well and IMHO, the 90 getting the better of the two. As an aside, the 98 was the first full vintage for winemaker Laurent Jaboulet.

2003 DELAS LA LANDONNE COTE-ROTIE- 100% Syrah; the nose had some smoke and leather along with black currant; the taste profile expanded to include a bit of bacon, fig, clove and mocha as well as blackberry and plum; it was medium to full bodied with some depth and length; with its high pedigree, I kept expecting it to give just a bit more and it seemed to just not be up to the task. I`m thinking it would have been a good candidate for a long decant.

2003 DOMAINE JEAN-LOUIS CHAVE HERMITAGE- 100% Syrah; I`m thinking this has to be the WOTN before even tasting it and it was good, but not nearly as good as the La Chapelle IMHO, probably because it lacked the pepper and spice accent which I so dearly love and I truly believe this bottle was in a valley stage before its journey to the peak; smoke and leather join mature dark, ripe fruit in the nose and on the palate it translated into black currant, blackberry and plum along with some underlying tannins which resulted in a bit of astringency past mid palate; it finished rather abruptly; I went back to it at the end of the evening and it was just starting to open up and giving more hints of its magnificence. Timing is everything in this case and we needed more of it.

2015 DOMAINE PICHAT LES GRANDE PALCES COTE-ROTIE- 80% Syrah, 20% Viognier; spicy black raspberry and blackberry dominate this youthful, vibrant and full bodied wine that will require a teeth whitening procedure after drinking as it has an inky, dark purple color that reportedly comes from the traces of iron in the soils; it’s got lots of depth and complexity and hints of power and finesse although another 15+ years are required for more evolution.

2016 PATRICK JASMIN LA GIROFLARIE COTE-ROTIE- 96% Syrah, 4% Viognier all from the Cote Blonde hillside aged in neural oak and blended with a small percent of new oak; spicy and sweet black cherry are first experienced in the nose and early taste profile, then smoke, blueberry and black raspberry finish it off while being delivered in a silky, smooth texture all the way to the back end; this needs time to mature and balance out although it’s treasures are readily apparent in this early stage.

Another fun night of fine food, wine and fellowship with our small group.