Northern Rhone Dinner (Pavillon & Grillet)

Roswell, GA
Tasted Sunday, November 3, 2013 by Rezy13 with 235 views

Flight 1 - Whites (4 Notes)

The Perret was a starter wine served prior to the mini-vertical of Chateau Grillet.
The Grillets showed well, but I would like to see more minerality. Let's see what Chateau Latour's owners can do with it.
The Grillet flight was served with deviled eggs with trout roe (my favorite pairing), great jumbo lump crab cakes, tuna tartar with avocado mousse and sesame crackers, and a cabbage and green apple slaw.
There were mixed reviews on the favorite from the Grillets, many liked the 2006 the best, but I and a few others preferred the 2005.

  • 2009 André Perret St. Joseph Blanc 90 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph

    Light golden yellow; tons of intense apple flavors, also some pear, waxy lanolin though smaller frame, finishing with a lit candle like minerality, this wine has great focus lacking any flabby acid; very good but not sure this will blossom in the cellar.

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  • 2004 Château-Grillet (Neyret-Gachet) Château-Grillet 91 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Château-Grillet

    The most delicate and ready wines of the three this possessed the most white flower characteristics, medium body, sweet yellow and green fruit, and probably the best acidity; drinking well right now though I am surprised how well these have aged.

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  • 2005 Château-Grillet (Neyret-Gachet) Château-Grillet 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Château-Grillet

    A darker more oxidized look to this compared to the '06 & '04, though not giving up a lot the nose is very earnest instantly commanding your attention, there is a good bit of ripeness but in a larger frame that can handle it and maintained some balance, the fruit is creamier and had a density that you had to appreciate, going from memory it is hard to describe the exact fruit but this had so many layers; this could deserve a higher score but I just did not find the minerality that I was hoping for.

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  • 2006 Château-Grillet (Neyret-Gachet) Château-Grillet 90 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Château-Grillet

    The ripest and most exotic of the 3 today this definitely had some mango and pineapple fruit with fuller body and a touch of heat from the alcohol; still very tasty and interesting wine.

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Flight 2 - Older Pavillons (3 Notes)

This flight saw a big swing in the readiness of these vintages. The '98 was ready, the '00 in transition, and the '99 was a rock literally.
Wines were served with a duck confit pappardelle.

  • 1998 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon 95 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Drinking beautifully; probably the groups favorite of the lineup; this was fully open with tons of floral notes, fresh red with some darker fruit, ripe but had great balance, and soft tannin; the most amiable mainly because it was the only one that had shed its oak and was fully open, even though it was open it still may have a little improving to do in bottle so don't be afraid to open now but waiting a few more years wouldn't hurt.

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  • 1999 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon 92 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Wow, this was very different from the others in the flight, it was very dark in color and fruit, blackberry, cassis, violets, cement; brooding on the palate with grainy minerality and tannin, the depth of the wine is something you can really appreciate because opening this tonight was definitely infanticide, it was sort of in a dumb phase with so much built up in potential though it was not hard to drink; I am curious to see when this will be showing its best, may be one of the best vintages but tougher to say that at this point of its life.

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  • 2000 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon 95 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    This was in an in-between stage of its life that I really enjoyed, not the best vintage but this is where the cream rises to the top with top producers in prime terroir, the sexy new French oak was still a component on the nose along with a little pine and rich red and dark fruit; the palate was really refined with soft tannin, great density, rounded profile, and lots of complex fruit, vegetal, and other components; a lesser vintage but this is pure class, would like to revisit in 5 years to see how it's progressing; a younger though similar example of the bottle tasted 4/20/13.

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Flight 3 - Newer Pavillons (3 Notes)

This flight reminded me of the first being that the middle wine ('05 in this circumstance) was deep and very serious while the outer wines were earlier drinkers.
Infanticide was committed a few times in this flight but it was a great reference for purchasing.
The wines were paired with some really tasty Colorado lamb chops which worked almost perfectly.

  • 2004 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    From magnum; this wine had all the components as other bottles but with an easy-going personality, it was delicious and utterly drinkable which I loved but not the most cerebral, lots pent up in potential especially due to the format but this still had prominent oak, and the fruit was just getting some secondary nuances; very good.

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  • 2005 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon 96 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Wow! I was totally thrown by this, it was showing some really cool climate Syrah characteristics when I though '05 was relatively ripe and powerful, the brightest purple color in the bunch; boatloads of black pepper, violets, cement, granite, cassis, and blackberry with little to no oak; the palate like the '99 was all about power, I expected that from '05 but this was much more drinkable than the '99, the tannin was fine grained but obviously there, great wine texturally, nobility was oozing from this in a style that would have to be from the bio-dynamic winemaking; delicious, would not be surprised if this was still drinking well at age 50.

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  • 2006 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    The least evolved of any at the table, also the newest, this was not open in a hard or dumb sort of way but more as a primary style; lots of new French oak and very ripe fruit, red and dark as well as an almost figgy quality the '06 vintage provided; still balanced and deep and focused you have to appreciate it, but at the end of a phenomenal tasting this almost gets overshadowed; even though it was primary it will be ready earlier much like the '00.

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Flight 4 - Extras (4 Notes)

The Les Granits was out of mag and served as an interlude wine between the flights. It showed its best after the Pavillons as it finally was open and very expressive.
The wines were drunk by themselves.
I brought the Marcoux not intending to open it this evening but was very glad I did.
The host let us pull a bottle of our choosing from his cellar to serve blind to him. I wanted to see how a Grand Cru Burg would show.
The Shane was poured at another location later in the evening.

  • 2010 M. Chapoutier St. Joseph Les Granits 94 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph

    From magnum; yes I know that was young but it was amazing; bright ruby violet the density of color was much less than those of the Pavillons; the nose took a while to open up but when it did there was so much there, raw meat, plush dark berries, sour red berries, pretty violets, sexy new French oak, granite, a little black pepper, seemed youthful and more cool climate; the texture was sharp and fresh with tart berries, granite and definite mineral mouthfeel, really drinkable in a more Cote Rotie type of way (which I prefer); very different from the Hermitages but really held its ground.

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  • 2001 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 96 Points

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

    Holy crap this was good, this being the third and best bottle of the bunch; so floral, feminine, sexy, classic CdP, Grenachey, sour cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, some fig, garrigue, leather, and other herbs; the frame poses as delicate and less brooding than other vintages this has near perfect balance to cruise for many more years though it is singing now, sweet fruit, savory, noble, and finishing with classic bitterness; love it, great to see this rivaled up against some of the best Northern Rhone has to offer, definitely held its own.

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  • 2008 Jérôme Chezeaux Clos Vougeot 94 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

    Man we were spoiled tonight, raided the cellar and found this, might be too young but it really strutted its stuff; bright crimson ruby; nose is classic masculine Clos Vougeot with sour cherry, fine chalk dust, and had an immediate impact with its nobility; the palate was wiry and taut with red fruit and structure that packed a punch, fairly primary but you could see the potential, well made wine with a very hands off approach; really liked it; need to get some more, 94+.

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  • 2008 Shane Syrah The Unknown 90 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County

    Really had no business drinking wine at this point of the evening but this was fun; opaque purple with purple rim; nose is dark and brooding with smoke, tons of black pepper, and black fruit; palate is a little rough hewn with grainy tannin and a rusticity that made me call Cornas (I always miss this blind!).

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Closing

Spoiled once again by great food and monumental wines.

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