A night of (mostly) Northern Rhones

The Bristol, Chicago IL
Tasted Friday, April 5, 2013 by KeithAkers with 182 views

Introduction

Thanks to Matt for putting this together. I am always game for a dinner at the Bristol, and I'm always game for a Northern Rhone dinner. The two of them being at the same time makes it even more of a benefit. So, several people brought some blind wines that turned out to be in theme, but we didn't know ahead of time.

Flight 1 (12 Notes)

  • 1999 F.X. Pichler Riesling Smaragd Loibner Berg 93 Points

    Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau

    Nose: Very balanced and aromatic nose with layered tones of sea shells, lemon zest, crushed rocks, white florals, and a whole lot of pears. There is very good depth to this as well along with a refined sense too.

    Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity. The acidity is still noticeable with along with layered and deep tones of sea shells, peaches, crushed rocks, white florals, and lots of pears.

    Overall: This was a wonderful and mature F.X. Pichler. There was a lot of poise and class on this and it seemed like it still has a way to go.

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  • 1995 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Nose: This did show some slight oxidation at first along with tones of wax, caramel apples, honeycomb, lanolin and bleu cheese. After sitting in the glass and fully opening up, it also revealed hot oils, peaches, and marmalade.

    Taste: Fuller bodied with really good depth and layering. There was a richer quality on the palate, but still very well balanced and mature with tones of caramel apples, hot oils, peaches, marmalade, and some wax tones as well.

    Overall: This was a lot better after it got about another hour or so of air. This showed some nice depth before, but once it opened up and the oxidation blew off, it became a gorgeous and mature Chave Blanc.

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  • 1999 E. Guigal Hermitage 91 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Nose: This had a nice darker quality to the fruit with tones of black fruits, roasted meats, charcoal, bacon fat, and some smoke tones.

    Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and silky tannins. The palate is showing some maturity, but with very balanced tones of black fruits, black pepper, smoke, and bacon fat tones.

    Overall: This was blind, and I was able to get that it was an hermitage. It was a little hard to peg down on the age, but it also did show some maturity while being on the younger side of the curve.

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  • 1999 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde 92 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie

    Nose: There is a very rustic and savory backdrop on the nose with tones of black pepper, animale, bacon fat, black fruits, and spice tones. The black pepper and bacon fat are very pronounced with everything balancing underneath.

    Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and some nice and rustic tannins. The feel is savory, but with a slight coarseness to it along with tones of black pepper, animale tones, bacon fat, and spice tones.

    Overall: I thought this was a Cornas when I had it. This was a really nice cote rotie and was showing really well. There was very good depth and layering with the tannins still showing off some youth.

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  • 1998 M. Chapoutier Hermitage La Sizeranne 91 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Nose: There is a very nice dark red fruit core to the nose with tones of dark red cherries, black fruits, charcoal, bacon fat, and some white pepper.

    Overall: Fuller bodied with some chewy tannins and medium acidity. Well balanced with tones of black pepper, bacon fat, roasted meats, charcoal, and leather with some earth as well.

    Overall: This was still showing on the younger side. There is nice depth, but it isn't too layered right now and the structure was noticeable.

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  • 2001 Michel & Stéphane Ogier Côte-Rôtie 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie

    Nose: This was a little tight at first, but then completely opened up into savory and flowing tones of creamed black fruits, spice tones, olives, bacon fat, and all sorts of violets. There is really good depth and balance to this as well.

    Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium acidity and very good tannins. The feel is pretty refined with the tannins showing off the youth of the wine along with tones of black pepper, black fruits, spice tones, bacon fat, olives, and violets.

    Overall: This is a very complex wine that is still a ways from being at it's peak. This was showing a bit tight at first and it took about an hour to fully open up. Once it opened up, it was a gorgeous and seamless wine.

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  • 1996 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 94 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Nose: This is showing really well with deep and layered tones of black fruits, black cherries, roasted meats, charcoal, crushed rocks, and some hints of black olives.

    Taste: Full bodied with medium+ acidity and some chewy tannins. There is very good balance with deep and layered tones of black fruits, black cherries, crushed rocks, and black olives.

    Overall: There is a lot of class to this. It's showing really well on both the nose and palate with some real good layering as well. This is a spot on Chave and is a beautiful wine.

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  • 1995 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde 91 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie

    Nose: This was showing a lot of poise and balance on the nose with tones of olives, black fruits, black cherries, bacon fat, and spice tones with some leather. There is a real refined quality to it with good depth and class.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium+ acidity and silky tannins. The feel is refined with tones of black olives, black cherries, bacon fat, and a lot of spice tones.

    Overall: This is a really elegant and mature cote rotie. There is very good balance along with nice depth.

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  • 2006 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas

    Nose: While the nose is very tight, there are complex and deep tones of crushed rocks, black fruits, black cherries, leather, and some black currants. It does start to open up and shows off more layers.

    Taste: Full bodied with medium+ acidity and big chewy tannins. The structure is very youthful with the tannins on the more punishing side. Beneath the tannins are balanced and deep tones of crushed rocks, black fruits, black cherries, and leather tones.

    Overall: This was a brutally young Allemand, but it is also extremely good. There is great balance with a lot of depth. The youth is showing, but this feels like it can turn into something special.

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  • 2006 Bernard Levet Côte-Rôtie La Chavaroche

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie

    This just didn't want to show anything. It was tight as a drum and no amount of coaxing really helped it open up.

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  • 1999 Mathilde et Yves Gangloff Côte-Rôtie La Sereine Noir 92 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie

    Nose: This took a slight bit to open up and was getting better with air. There was very good depth and balanced tones of black fruits, perfumes, violets, dark red cherries, spice tones, and a good dose of bacon fat.

    Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and good silky tannins. This was very balanced with good depth and savory tones of violets, dark red cherries, bacon fat, and some incense on the back end.

    Overall: This was a later opened bottle. If it had even more air it may have shown even better. Still, it was a gorgeous Cote Rotie that showed a more elegant side.

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  • 2005 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    I'm not sure what was up with this bottle. It was very tight, but also was showing a lot of simplicity on both the nose and palate. I'm not going to bother with any of my other bottles for another few years.

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Closing

This was a real fun night. It's always the dinners with less people that seem to lead to this. Hopefully this will be done again sooner than later.

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