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Old 16-03-2011, 02:15 PM posted to
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Default Northern Rhones

Notes from a Northern Rhone blind tasting

1996 Clape Cornas – we started with a wine that proved to be one of
the most typical classical representations of the evening.
Surprisingly elegant, with a nose that opened into classic plumy
spiced anise, with a little white pepper and blood, a fair bit of
acidity on palate, and soft tannins. Nice long finish.

1997 Clape Cornas – this was a put up job because a couple of us
wanted to see how these would fare tasted together. They seemed to be
quite different wines, with darker colour, and seemingly more youth,
although I thought this one was further along in terms of taste. It
showed some violets in the nose and no pepper, maybe a little leather.
Also good body and length, though not quite as elegant as the 96.

2004 Guigal St. Joseph Vignes de l’Hospice – fruit based nose, high
toned with slightly high volatile acidity, and a bit warm, and a plush
wood driven cherry vanilla thing happening. On palate, sweet fruit and
good length. This surprised me a bit as I hadn’t expected this sort of
wine from Guigal.

2001 Tardieu Laurent Cornas Coteau – Blood/iron and some anise and
mocha in the nose, lots of soft tannin in the mouth – the first thing
that hits you on entry. Decent length. I don’t know how TL manages to
integrate the amount of oak they often use, but it works for them.

1997 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon – good colour, a plum and anise
nose with some blackberry, juicy entry, fair bit of tannin and big
smooth mouth feel, a bit closed perhaps, and needs time – a lot of it!

1997 Ogier Cote Rotie La Belle Helene – quite floral and elegant in
the nose, soft tannins, smooth and long on palate. I had to go feed
the parking meter when this was poured, came back and said it was a
Cote Rotie based on the nose, and could well be an Ogier. I tried to
shut up for the rest of the event as it wasn’t going to get any better
than that for guessing wines! I really liked this one.

1995 Sorrel Hermitage Le Greal – we never see this producer here and
then I hit it twice in a month (tasted the 1983 against the 83 La
Chapelle earlier). A well focussed medium to full bodied wine with
decent length, but perhaps a tad short on midpalate fruit.

2003 Ogier Cote Rotie – it was hard to believe that the classic 1997
we had had any commonality with this wine. This showed a sweet jammy
nose of blackberry and spice, medium body, big acidity, soft tannin,
and nary a hint that it might be a Cote Rotie!

1991 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle – dark wine with a concentrated
sweet fruit nose, good concentrations and weight, and better balance
(less acidity) than I’d noted in previous tastings. I still have a
stash of this and am pleased that it showed so well.

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