TNs: 3 La Chapelles, Clape, Guigal, Ogier, Durand, Paris, Jaffurs, more
Our lunch group met for our monthly gathering with a theme of quality N. Rhones. We also had some other fine wines in the supporting cast:
2004 ETIENNE POCHON CROZES-HERMITAGE- heavily on the dry side of things, this had some minerals and a herbaceous character following a flinty, steely nose.
1997 JAFFURS MARSANNE STOLPMAN VINEYARDS- brought by the winemaker who wondered out loud if this was over the hill, it was not; good acidity in a light to medium body, this offered some nice green apple, melon, citrus and mineral notes and properly prepared our palates for the delights to come.
We now move into the highlight of the lunch IMHO, the La Chapelles of which there were 3:
1994 JABOULET LA CHAPLELLE HERMITAGE- great start with a nose of spicy, peppery bacon fat which expanded into some typically wonderful red fruity, spicy, peppery flavors that just went on and on; when I got to the 1999, I could see a common thread between the 2 and this one was clearly the better as it was more evolved and my WOTD.
1995 JABOULET LA CHAPELLE HERMITAGE- this is just big in every way, most of which was extremely positive; lots of pepper, spice and majorly extracted black fruit which goes hangs on, but finishes with serious tannic astringency; this is such a big wine and needs time to integrate and mature; I believe it will eventually outshine many of its siblings in the years to come with its great intensity and complexity; my #3 WOTD.
1999 JABOULET LA CHAPELLE HERMITAGE- a star in the making, it offers so much of what I look for in a La Chapelle; the nose just speaks out “Come on in, there`s something happening here” and it was, with its delightful, spice and pepper and ripe wild black cherry/ cranberry/ berry fruitiness; full bodied, complex, beautifully structured and ready to move into a space welcoming us to more of the same with better balance and integration forthcoming; a star in the process; my #2 WOTD.
I was contented to keep the above 3 wines in the glass and just hang with them, but more was to come. I did not dump any:
2000 GUIGAL HERMITAGE- very weird nose at first which somewhat blew off and was followed by some decent red cherry fruit; overall pleasant, but a major step down after the La Chaps; certainly a victim of placement in this lineup.
1999 DOMAINE MICHEL OGIER LA BELLE HELENE COTE ROTIE- pretty intense funk in the nose with some sulfur, all of which continued on through into the mid palate and made for an unpleasant drink for me, can we go back to the La Chapelles? The answer is “Yes” and I did.
After the last flight of 2, we moved into this flight of 3:
2009 DOMAINE VINCENT PARIS GRANIT 60 CORNAS- this young pup is youthful in every way from its rich and vibrant dark purple color to its fresh ripe fruit forwardness; it`s graced by a sprinkle of pepper and spice and there`s a fair amount of oak not yet integrated; I have to think this will mature into something much more delightful down the road, say maybe 10 years.
2009 DOMAINE DURAND EMPREINTES CORNAS- dark purple, this is loaded with ample amounts of wild black berry/ blueberry flavors and eventually some black cherry shows up with a touch of vanilla, spice and fennel; pretty serious wine not yet evolved and another one suggestive of long term cellaring.
2004 CLAPE RENAISSANCE CORNAS- unfortunately, this had a lot of funk in the nose which carried on into the mid palate and beyond and never got to a good place; there`s a hint of decent black cherry/ berry fruit, but the funkiness overwhelmed my palate and I bailed after ample attempts to give this a chance.
2007 CHATEAU DE MYRAT SAUTERNES- 375ml; thick, creamy and luscious with an amazing amount of ripe concentrated apricot and peach which goes on forever; fine dessert wine.
This was another excelent luncheon highlighted by the La Chapelles which I thoroughly enjoyed and still savor on the palate.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".