Skip to main content

A weekend of 1999s

With our oldest son just turning ten, the weekend was the perfect opportunity to re-taste some of his vintage in wines.

First up was Beaucastel - one person thought it slightly corked and threw it away in disgust. Everyone else thought it was brett and enjoyed everything else that was going on in the glass. When I suggested to the dissenter it had, perhaps, more of a farmyard smell than he was accustomed to (he is a dedicated New Zealand Pinot Noir drinker), he agreed it could be that (he still threw it away - will I ever get over that?). Perhaps I should have decanted it! In any case, I found it to have lovely deep black cherry fruit, quite brambly, big without being overdone.

De Vallouit's Cote Rotie 1999 "La Voniere" on Sunday was the perfect partner for roast beef. I had been asked to try it by someone who had opened a badly shaken up bottle. This was in perfect condition, very clear and bright. It looked like it had plenty of life ahead. The nose was sublime, exotic and captivating - this is possibly the only CR with the maximum 20% Viognier included. The palate superb, almost impossible to pin down; words can't do it justice so I won't try. Simply superb.

Monday night's wine was the 1999 St Joseph from Pascal Perrier's Domaine de Gachon. Pascal is one of the wine world's great characters: huge moustache, non-stop Gauloises and some great stories surrounding him. The wine started life as one of the most awkward I have encountered but now has an enticing, almost Burgundian nose, deliciously sweet. The palate is more solid but still has that lightness of touch which surprises me when I look back at the label to see it really is ten years old.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Decanter’s top Rhône wines under £20

The moratorium is over. Decanter’s December issue has been published and I can announce our successes in the recent tasting undertaken by their Rhône expert, Matt Walls who has recently returned from a year and a half in the region. If you look on Decanter.com today (November 2020), you will see a link to ‘Top Côtes du Rhône wines under £20’. What the article doesn’t tell you is that the brief of its writer was to taste and rate wines from across the valley in that price range and that the top scoring white wine was actually a Ventoux. No prizes for guessing that it was  Château Juvenal’s 2019 ‘Ribes de Vallat’ Blanc , awarded 91 points, which, at £12.60 is also the best value of any of the white wines on the list: 'From 30- to 40-year-old vines grown on granite south-facing slopes; half of the wine is matured for six months in demi-muid leaving no overt oakiness to the aromatics. Full-bodied, rich and opulent style, very ripe and fulsome. Some mango and pineapple juice. Unmist

Estate Profile: the truly excellent Domaine Ste-Anne

Simple labels adorn the bottles of these highly effective and enjoyable wines which have a distinct nod to the northern Rhône and even Burgundy and Bandol despite their southern Rhône setting. Described by Robert Parker as ‘one of the best estates in the entire Rhône Valley’, Domaine Ste-Anne has been in the Steinmaier family since 1965 when it was bought as a holiday home for this Burgundian family. Guy Steinmaier quickly recognised the potential of the 12 hectares of vines and set about replanting them.   Now under the stewardship of his son Jean, who studied winemaking in Beaune before taking over in 1977, they have remained consistent throughout making remarkably un-Parkerised wines (that is to say, these are elegant and refined rather than the blockbusters generally regarded by the former uber-critic). A quarter of a century since Parker wrote those words, Domaine Ste-Anne remains synonymous with the Côtes du Rhône Village of St-Gervais. Today the range is much the same as it was

Joblot in the glass

Always one of my favourite tastings: the new vintage – in this case the 2019s – of Domaine Joblot’s wines from the bottle and, better still, in the comfort of my own home. 2019 has been much lauded but, thanks to Covid, only a very few people have tasted widely around the vintage. Jancis Robinson said of the wines she tasted, ‘ the wines were delightfully easy to like ’ although she rarely looks at the Chalonnaise which can be viewed as unfortunate for the top estates there but, perhaps, lucky for us since it keeps prices down and wines available. Anyone wanting to delve into Joblot’s wines could either choose any available vintagesand try wines from across the range or follow particular cuvées across a range of vintages (horizontal or vertical comparisons).   Juliette was clearly pleased with the way the wines turned out and rightly so. They tend towards sweetness in their youth but that is necessary for the wines to show at their best after 5-10m years (they will last much, much long