1999 Texier, Côte-Rôtie VV:
Substantial sediment requires decanting; while still youthful and probably needing a decade more for more obvious development, the signs are there now – deepening fruit, a smoothing texture, a sense of a knitting together at mid-palate, extending length and a dynamic push-pull between the quite evident complexity of this fruit and the distinction of the AOC. Being a fan of Côte-Rôtie, it is always difficult to pick one bottle over another, especially when one throws in vintage (and bottle) variation. Nonetheless, this bottling in this vintage is my benchmark, for both the AOC and the variety. (Please Lord; let me make syrah that even comes close to this.)
Its terroir is clear yet does not overshadow the fruit – and the fruit is layered and intense without being sugary or in any way manipulated. A poised tension that works to create something greater than the sum of its parts. This is an exceptional bottle at the very beginning of its best years.
2007 Bruno Clair, Marsannay Rosé:
Bone dry, flavorful, clean and becomes more interesting as it warms in the glass. I won’t be putting any ice cubes in this one; wine first, rosé second. About $12, 12.5% abv.
2005 Terres Dorées, Moulin A Vent:
12% abv; somewhat reticent nose; big, fruit sweet, happy flavors and lots of tannin – showing way too young (although I like the flavors) but became stunningly good with fresh butternut squash ravioli with pumpkin reduction and feta – one of those pairings that I will write down – the drying of the tannin morphed into grip and the wine’s boisterous fruit became mellow and integrated with its structure. I love when that happens.
Day two: turns liqueur-esque and somewhat volatile but in a good way; more integrated and rounder – quite persuasive.
1999 Bruno Clavelier, Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts:
The nose has a deep sweetness with some sauvage notes, some rhubarb, balsamic and baking spice; sautéed fruit flavors, especially grippy, more balsamic and rhubarb; there is a disconnect between the fruit and the tannin and the only thing that stops this from being drying is that the acid hits at the end to make the mouth water. Youthful, disjointed and yet engaging in some sort of stimulating and essential way. 13% abv.
Day two: more integrated, without the rhubarb and balsamic scents and flavors, better fruit intensity and without quite the disconnect mentioned above; still this wine has a lot of tannin and probably needs further cellar time to resolve.