Homes is moving to Indiana of all places this summer so we had to get down to business. This meant Northern Rhones and, for kicks, a Bordeaux.
1986 Marcel Juge Cornas
The second of two bottles I bought recently. The first was corked and spoiled, an absolute wreck of a wine. This is just corked. FML.
1983 Château Cantemerle
This was a thing of beauty. Just super pure and precise with great freshness. This has all the hallmarks of well-aged Bordeaux without any gimcracks. Just pure, deep Cab/Merlot fruit and all the attendant Bordeaux complexities. The freshness here was so direct that we drained this bottle before the others.
1983 Domaine de Vallouit Hermitage Les Greffières
This was my favorite wine of the day. Classic old-school, uncompromising Hermitage, dark and deep and still tannic after all these decades. (Since when was 1983 more than 30 years ago?! Oh yeah, since 2013.) There’s smoke, ash, meat, rusty iron, olives, and still a fair amount of red-black fruit. Long and powerful. This must have been a brute upon release, and it was the best of the handful of Vallouit Hermitages I have had the pleasure of drinking over the past few years. Just a triumph of terroir, sound winemaking, and a great vintage.
1998 Fayolle Hermitage Les Dionnières
This had a weird nose that never really blew off but on the palate this was bright and dashing with lots of higher-toned red fruits, classic salty olives, cured meat, and Syrah funk. This struck me as being much more lifted and wild than the other wines, though it was pretty in its own right.
2000 Mathilde et Yves Gangloff Côte-Rôtie La Sereine Noire
The youngest and also most youthful of the group, this was a bit firm and showing a little oak upon opening so we decanted and drank the others for a few hours before getting into this. Very pretty wine, slender and weightless in profile with pungent dark red fruit, lifted spicy notes, and showy floral character, with an enveloping texture that is never the least bit cloying. The very slight trace of oak here shows some very deft winemaking indeed.
Aside from the Juge there were no disappointments, and any one of these wines would have made a fine centerpiece for any meal. (We had a beef daube.)