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Showing posts from November, 2013

Wine Advocate on Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Robert Parker's replacement for Rhone reviews, Jeb Dunnuck has given a stunning reappraisal of many wines from the 2011 vintage.

First a word about 2012 which he describes as "a great vintage for the whites". I could have told him that in April when I first tasted the white wines from Laurent Brusset, Domaine des Anges and Raymond Usseglio whose new Cotes du Rhone Blanc scores an outstanding 90 points. That seems fair to me; it is a truly superb white.

Raymond Usseglio's 2011 reds (in stock) all receive excellent reviews and, for me, it is about time his Part des Anges cuvee got the top score (not that I have any problems with the delicious 2011 Imperiale - I just think Stephane should be rewarded for his efforts and successes with this fairly new wine). This is a sensationally black-fruited wine that just goes on and on. I had a bottle of the 2007 with a friend a couple of weeks ago - he had not tasted this cuvee before and was completely bowled over. Yes, on paper 2…

Gigondas in Decanter

December's issue, out now (as a subscriber, I received my copy before the end of October! I will never understand this) features the results of a tasting of Gigondas 2010/11.

The UK's leading Rhone specialist, John Livingstone-Learmonth, advises that the levels of ripeness in 2010 were excellent whereas there was more unevenness in 2011 which means, of course, caveat emptor (or, at least, buy a wine you either know or from a merchant you trust). He describes 2010 as a "more complete vintage" although the panel certainly does not write off the 2011 vintage at all.

A criticism that was levied against a few of the wines was heavy handed use of oak. When I first got to know Gigondas, it was a time of experimenting with new oak in the top cuvees (started, I believe, at Domaine les Gouberts) and it was fun for a while but Grenache doesn't always react well to the gentle oxidation that inevitably takes place in the barrel and, frankly, if you want an "international…