1997 Couly-Dutheil "Crescendo" questions

Hi everyone,

Picked up one of these from Winebid not long ago.

Compared to Baudry, Raffault, etc, it’s hard to find quite as much info. Even Cellartracker only has a few reviews.

How does it measure up against Les Picasses and La Croix Boissee?

Thoughts on a likely decant time?

Is there any chance it still has room to improve? My favorite Loire reds have been the very old Les Picasses releases, 30-40 years of age.

My only prior experience with Couly-Dutheil was a 1998 Clos de L’Olive, this past August, that I’d say was a solid A-, but not quite an A+.

Thanks everyone. As always, really grateful for your time + your knowledge.

I believe this is a special selection of the normal cuvee that sees more extraction and new oak. Some useful information from other posters like Julian and Greg here: TNs: Assorted French wines last weekend - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers

I had a 96 earlier this year that was in a lovely spot and in no way spoofy. Don’t think it will improve any further but in no danger of falling off a cliff.

Have a 90 late release of the normal cuvee from the producer that I am looking forward to trying as well.

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Yes, I confirm what I posted in February, having had another two 97s since: it’s an excellent wine, one of the best older Chinons I’ve tried. I’ve never decanted mine so far but an hour or so will probably suffice. Mine have all been very spritely and I’m quite confident that the remaining pair will improve further.

All Coulys pre-2002 are bargains, no matter which cuvée - much better value than the blue-chip Loire reds, simply because Couly’s star has faded in the last 20 years, but at the time, they were producing wines which certainly to my taste are just as good as the others.

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Thanks Julian. Was there a change in ownership, or in style, post-2002? Did a new generation take over?

It’s surprisingly hard to find a lot of info. I googled around, found one cellartracker comment about 2011 vs. 2014, turned out it was from you!

Ha! There are not many Couly drinkers around! Basically there was a family feud from which Arnaud Couly emerged victorious, his uncle and cousin leaving to create another estate. Under AC, the wines went spoofy in some years but not in others leading to a lot of confusion as to the house style. 2004 is shaping up well in a more or less traditional style, 05 is OTT, 06 not far off, 09 and 10 are fine, 11 is spoofy again, 13 was a washout and 14 is quite like Raffault in style. I’ve yet to try 15 and 16, or anything since.

In a nutshell, most of the wines from 02 backwards are excellent and very long lived, among my favourite Loire reds. Anything since is dodgy.

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Update here- Opened my '97 tonight. Really tight at first. Significant benefit from ~45 minutes decanting, then absolutely excellent thereafter.

Up there alongside old Olga Raffault as my favorite Loire Cab Franc. If in fact it saw some new oak, none of that was obvious now.

In contrast to the '89 + 90 Olgas, which usually seem to be at the tail end of their lifespan, this easily has years ahead of it. I would buy a bunch more, if only I could find it. I do have one each of the '90 + '96 l’Olive, and going to buy some '14 l’Echo.


Glad it showed well! I really enjoyed an Olive 96 two years ago, very elegant, but I’ve never tried a 90 - if it’s like the Echo, it should be excellent.