Abysmally disappointing. Nose eventually revealed something resembling a Syrah bouquet. On palate, thin, acidic without any charm and well past whatever had been its best Personal observation is that Guigal's Cote Rotie and Hermitage "generic" labels do not last well beyond 12 years.
Medium crimson with clear rim. Aromas of dark fruit/ cherry/ cocoa with light smoke. Medium plus weight in mouth, sweet silky tannins which awe well integrated. Medium/ medium plus length. Drinking really well right now. As previously noted, this is a feminine Hermitage, very enjoyable
Purple color with a barnyard bouquet and with a vague flavor of fruit and leather. Not a very compelling wine, with no balance or nuance. Probably over the hill. Second bottle tasted the next day was very similar.
More ripe dark fruit with a level of ripeness I did not get in previous bottles with an almost grenache-y plumpness. Medium full bodied and well balanced, with white pepper, black olives, rare gamey meat, and good savory notes. There is clarity and poise here. An outstanding, very enjoyable and well made, but to pick nits, not very distinctive wine drinking at peak. Probably would have showed a bit better with food, but this day at work necessitated this half bottle being finished prior to the food being ready. 91 pts.
Hermitage and other N. Rhones (Jeff K's.): This is in a very nice place now, probably about as good as it will get. No hurry though. The nose has black raspberries, some bacon fat and a bit of spice. Lovely texture. Complex. Not a brute but still plenty of fruit. Long finish.
Dark but not opaque, no evident maturity. Wonderful aromatics of meat, iron, blackberry, black flowers, and later, higher toned herb. Round and very silky for Hermitage. It is just developing secondary nuance atop the very solid core of fruit and sound acidity. Tannins still present but don't get in the way of enjoyment now. Really quite impressive and on track for another decade of improvement and pleasurable drinking. These '98 northern Rhones are unsung heroes, with the subsequent vintage getting all the attention and hype.
Still deep and primary looking. Enticing aromatics-meat, cocoa, and a dusting of herbs. Medium to full bodied, very round and well put together. Blackberry fruit that is perfectly ripe and some licorice; the flavors are a step behind the nose in their development. Two things really surprised me-the youthfulness and volume of the wine. While highly enjoyable now, it remains rather simple with the promise of more complexity with further bottle aging.
CT blind group tasting at David's (Enfield, CT): Surprised to see this was a Guigal Hermitage when unveiled - it doesn't have the power and richness I expect from Hermitage; I'd guessed this might be a St. Joseph, but I'm also really pleasantly surprised to see how little apparent oak there is here. It's all about bright peppery, meaty and leathery elements around a core of gentle red fruited flavours, elegant and polished in the mouth and drinking very nicely right now with the tannins quite gentle and a bright acid spine keeping it very fresh and lively.
Popped and poured. Solid in every way - good fruit, Rhone characteristics, and a nice finish that feels very '98, with good acid and appropriate fruit - nothing overbearing about it at all. Nothing stunning about this but is very enjoyable with food and has no rough edges to it. Possible it would improve with air. Drink now, but should hold a bit. B+/A-
Dark brooding color. Beautiful Syrah aromatics of violet, leather and blackberry. Not huge but forceful palate impression with a very nice wrapping of lush fruit that does not take away from its serious black fruit core and proper acidity. Excellent wine and the best example of Guigal Hermitage that I can recall tasting.
Meaty, bloody, peppery nose, with blood oranges, and black/red berries. Mid to full bodied and very animale. Deep and well delineated. More bloody game, green and black olives, white pepper, and leather/ savory notes. A little wild but not brash. The tannins are in a good place here, adding but not distracting from an altogether very enjoyable bottle of wine. I usually find this particular bottling to err on the side of "Varietally correct and true to its terroir, but not inspired". That said, this bottle is punching above that weight. Outstanding and early peak. 93pts
Medium red color. Aromas of red fruits, leather, coffee and herbs. Ripe, beautifully balanced fruit in the mouth with excellent depth and structure. Complex and long with well-integrated fine tannins, this wine still very fresh and delicious to drink. At peak.
Boys nite, first of fall/winter 2010/2011 (Reno, NV): Of all the notes I have written on this site, I don't think there has been a bigger gap in my assesment of quality and the community's than this wine and the 99 Guigal Hermitage. This bottle, much like the 98 I posted on some time ago really was lacking... I found it not very aromatically expressive, not deep in flavor, texturally hard and unpleasant. This wine came from the same retailer as the bottle of 98 I thumped... so, while this bottle of wine was 'average'to 'good' at best, I think I should hold judgment on these two wines until I taste a bottle from a different retailer.
Black cherry red with intoxicating aromas of smokey bacon, cherry and licorice. At first quite acidic but with some air time this integrated nicely with the meaty, cherry imbued palate. Second half of the bottle on day two was noticeably lacking in grip telling me that now and over the next few years this is probably as good a time as any to enjoy this very good Hermitage.
CT Texas Offline #2 Oskiwawa Raises The Bar; 11/5/2010-11/6/2010 (McKinney, TX): This wine was in some very serious company. It may have shown better on its own. On the nose, roasted meats, black fruit, hints of leather and black olive. On the palate, black raspberry, gamey roasted meat, olive, leather. Finished with very nice tannins and acidity. Seems a little young. Hold over the medium term.
Decanted for 2 hours and drank over the course of an evening with another syrah (from Cali). Beautiful copper/ruby color, great aroma of leather and plum. Would have scored higher if the finish was longer.
(from memory) Deep ruby, multidimensional nose of black cherries, cassis, espresso, clove and herbs de Provence, amazing palate, deftly weaving mass and elegance with loads of juicy fruit and gripping tannins, hauntingly rich and ultra complex finish, a stunner
Note: In my cellar since 2004, would hesitant to buy a bottle today but if I could go back in time, I would buy this juice by the truck load.
Brought to a wine dinner at Urbano's in Dallas. My WOTN, but I am an old world guy at a table with predominately new world stuff. Deep red, balanced with good structure. Subtle nose and palate, out of restaurant stems, but very smooth on the palate.
Very nice showing for this wine. Smoky, meaty notes overlaying a surprisingly pliant and supple bit of black cherry. I am sure this has plenty of gas left in the tank, but it is showing quite lovely at this point.
decanted 2 hrs. Meaty and masculine with solid structure, bold fruit and firm, enjoyable tannins. This is in a good place now and will hold for another 5-6 years with moderate improvement still ahead. Approx $55, drink thru 2015
This was a meaty wine with the tannins still pronounced. A bit of brick-red in the glass the nose had some black olive and gamey notes. A rustic old-world style for sure. As I drink more Rhone style wines I realize that my palate tends to prefer Bordeaux blends so it is tough for me to get excited about this wine. Therefore I am not going to score the wine and will re-cork and try it again on the next night.
This bottle had a bit of wine stain on the cork visible after removing the capsule. After opening it had lost all of its fruit, was very dry and had strong tobacco, leather and earth in both the nose and on the palette. My guess is that it suffered some heat damage somewhere along the way.
I decanted it nonetheless and will see what changes, if anything tomorrow.
Next day update: Tried again today, from the decanter and it definitely is damaged and lost it's fruit. Kind of a shame but it happens occasionally.
Hard to believe this is unde 50 bucks retail. Truly balanced and nuanced with well integrated tannins, good finish and lovely fruit. Made even better when paired with braised beef ribs. Great wine. 5 left.
Stern, upright, lean. Strong structure. But! Plenty of heavy dried fruit (apricot, pear, prune), compost, a touch of molasses. A fair bit of spice: cigar, dirt. Very excellent, unfolds over time. Drinking great now, great balance, will last for many years.