LP, Rhys, Chapoutier, Caymus, Quintessa, Lewis & Kracher (E. 4th street): OK, coming after the Rhys, this took some time and food to readjust. A completely different animal and perhaps also needed some air to open. Golden in color. The nose is exquisite. A 100 point nose of honey, wax, floral notes, minerals and slight red grapefruit. Admittedly, not as good on the palate as the nose, but still amazing. Once it opened, there are layers of beeswax, minerals, chalk and honey. Enough acidity to carry food. I had it with a spicy vindaloo cauliflower and it was a great match IMO. The wine was big enough to stand up to the heat yet there was a synergy of flavors. It does show some age and there is an ever so slight oxidation to the wine. Not a lot and I loved that aspect but its pretty obvious to say at 25 years from vintage, this is ready to drink. A prior bottle I had of this was completely shot, but looking at the bottle, this was significantly lighter.
Bottle in perfect shape. 750 ml. Great fill. Dark yellow, slightly golden ... but lighter than most de L'Orée I've tried over the years. This wine needs time to open up. At least 2 - 3 hours in decanter. Lovely tropical bouquet of pineapple, cocoa, citrus, apricot, pear, candles/wax and yellow fruit. Very complex. Nice depth. Great texture, rich, concentrated, several layers appears, nice structure, a bit stoney mineral, complex, fully integrated. Great balance! Long finish! Lovely tropical flavours in the aftertaste. Aristocratic wine I must say. If this wine only had more acidity it would be the best of the best.
Tasting Group Holiday Party (Lee Road): This was recently bought at a Heritage Auction. The color was significantly darker than the other bottles, so I was worried about it. Rightfully so. The nose shows this is oxidized. Slightly "sherried" notes on the palate. Its a goner. Bummer.
Bitter, difficult and with an off putting nose. Not sure if its shut down again (We have tried it a few times in 11 & 12 Papies 92 & 90) and just tailed off. The nature of these whites always keeps us guessing and the more we try them the more we like them fresh with a few years of age and we would go to the length of questioning their ageing (ie does aging help or not) other than a marketing trick to sell old stock... NR
Celebrating St Vincent's Day in Stockholm (The Burgundy): Oxidized and pleasingly complex and mature nose, golden colour, but very thinned out body with not much going on. Agree with previous reviewers who have pointed this out (Paul S and papies i.a.) - 90 for the nose and much lower for the follow up - like a snowboarder who does an impressive trick in the air but then crashlands.
Desmond's Birthday Dinner 2014 (Park Palace, Grand Park Hotel): A decently good wine, but not a style of wine I enjoy – I thought the 1991 Tondonia Blanco that we had alongside was far more enjoyable. Still though, this was impressive in a certain way. I thought it had a rather pretty nose, with beeswax, almond and white flower scents floating alongside some breadfruit, and then plenty of spice and some little earthy tones. This was quite clearly a white Rhone just from that nose alone. The palate was huge. Tons and tons of weight and depth and power, with some alcohol weaving its way through thickly textured flavours of beeswax and nectarines, then more neutral white fruited flavours, all tightly coiled together in a creamy, even oily mouthful. Unfortunately, while not quite imbalanced, I thought the wine lacked the necessary acidity to keep it fresh and focused, so that it came across a bit flattish, with no relief from its big flavours, especially in the spice-infused finish, where a little flush of alcohol heat came out. This was an impressive wine with some underlying complexity peeking out at points, but really not my favourite style. Moving forward, I am not quite sure it will improve either. 90-92
Beautiful bouquet with honey and creamy soft yellow fruits. On the palate very clean but not really outspoken. But definitely very harmonious, full bodied with good acidity, great length and overall very harmonious. Great wine. For a white really impressive at this age!
The colour definitely shows the age with a dark yellow note, a bit muted and lacks " glossiness" . The nose sings and is definitely the high point of the wine. Mature fruit notes, light citrus, well evolved and complex. Very beautiful nose. On the palate however it is not there. Granted it is a style one needs to like, but still it was light, lacked vibrancy and was very short on the finish. The Ermitage bitterness was there and although it has survived well it is now at a point that for us is Difficult to enjoy. 90 for the nose and novelty. We monitored for about 2 hours and it did not change so we doubt decanting would help here. Once again the theory that these wines are better young holds.
Bottle, fill and cork all excellent. The color was light gold and bright. Aromatics very characteristic of the northern rhone, but the palette was unexciting and lacked drive. This does not have the requisite structure for longer aging and comes off a little flabby. This wine really suffered in comparison to the 1991 Chave blanc served alongside. Is it a more modern oak treatment that hurts this wine?
My 2nd time with L'Oree 1991. The nose is haevy but seductive. It's getting old but nice. (Last bottle drinking last year was more fresh more easy to enjoy) Anyway, strong, austere, very good. Delicious ? For me " Yes " but for others it's quite difficult to enjoy. The wine is strong in texture and not fade away during 4 hours of drinking along with many good wines.
Rhone Night (Zeffir, Dunlop Street): This was a bit of a strange wine to me. World beating on the nose and the start of the palate, it completely fell off the cliff in a thinned-out finish. In fact, this had the best nose of all among the four white Rhones. This had a classic aged Hermitage character to it, with earthy, slightly mushroomy undergrowth nuances undergirding higher-toned scents of spiced apples and beeswax along with sweet flowery notes. Complex, honeyed, yet deep and savoury at the same time - this was a beautiful nose. The palate was really beautiful from the attack and into its midpalate as well, with rich fruited flavours of yellow plums and apricots, a touch of chrysanthemum and a nice honeyed ring - all wonderfully integrated and wonderfully balance. It was a really introduction that unfortunately flattered to deceive, given how the wine proceeded to thin out quite alarmingly towards the back-end, tailing away in a skinny layer of mineral, honey and spice ringed by another linger of chrysanthenum tea - a weak finish that really left the drinker wanting more out of the wine. Altogether a bit incomplete then. Sigh. Still though, this was so fantastically integrated and put together with its charming little nuances that I could not help loving it for whatever good it showed while it lasted.
This wine is very good at its peak and still has 5-6 more years to go. The nose is austere and serious at the beginning, full and compact nose of Hermitage Blanc. Full-bodied and still fellin' dense. I quite like it, it shows a beautiful scents of great white wine, tropical fruits, mild chalk, stone and mineral. Really like great Burgundy in an aggressive way but not rough anymore. Aftertaste is such a good wine can be.
Drink now - 2016+...................92-94/100.......................
From magnum. Lovely, dense, honeyed appearance. A phenolic, minerally nose that gave way with time to complex floral and stone fruit notes, with a bit of smokiness. The classic waxy mouthfeel one expects from white Northern Rhone wines. The sweetness was a little subdued on the palate, and the wine was a little light in the mid-palate. But great structure, depth and complexity. Lovely and complex, with a very long finish. A great effort.
Papies LWE - Mouton 86 vs Cos 86 and some other friends (The Papies, Elizabeth St, London): Wine is just about clearing in colour which means its coming to drinking age out of the closed face. ( Marc Perrin very nicely gave this rule of thumb for old Roussanne or Marsanne Roussane blends, that the roussane ( hence the name) goes into a dark stale bitter phase post year 5 or so and in order to be able to drink it one needs to wait untill the colour goes back to whittish/green & clear. I wish we knew that before we opened some lovely bottles in the past)
Our bottle still had an orange tint hence some left over roussane bitterness. Rich, mineral and deep with lots of vribrancy and life in it. Pretty long finish. Pretty cool for 1991 white. We suggest decanting like 30-40minutes to help it open up but the key is checking that the colour is clear prior to opening.92+
This took a little time to really open up. Fragrant and floral, with toasty popcorn notes, sweet and some minerals. The wine was a little short mid-palate but had a long finish that was a little alcoholic. Pretty good stuff.
Deep golden color. Needs an hour or so to breathe and develop, but once it does, it is a very nice wine. Notes f mineral, almond, wax, pear and lychee. Nice balance, with flavors of pear, mineral and beeswax.
After 5-10 bottles of oxidised white Hermitagewines, I had given up. This wine changes everything - not even a sign of oxidation. Waxcandles, tropcial friut, lemon peel and an infinite aftertaste. I am very impressed!
High Elevation Tasting In Park City (Damon & Tami's Abode): The color is yellow, amber, almost a cider color. The wine initially tasted of stones, rocks, was dry, and light on its feet. With time, the wine really opened up and there were elements of olive oil, mushrooms, tree bark, pumpkin, and orange oil. This wine really benefited from warming to room temperature, and I would recommend not keeping the wine too cold. It also grew huge in the glass, and was one of the best flights of the night. No signs whatsoever of getting old, and was fresh and wonderful.
This wine has come out of hibernation in an impressive fashion. It takes some time to come around in good stemware or a decanter (one hour plus). Strong notes of pear, honeysuckle, lavender, crushed stone, and other minerals. It ended up third overall in a world-class lineup that included Bryant, Harlan Estates, Sine Qua Non, vintage Pichon Lalande, and Guigal Ex Voto Blanc. Just an outstanding Rhone white. I thank my lucky stars I have one more bottle left.
Opens with nutty, slightly oxidized qualties, and a short finish with waxy fruit and a tinny/metallic note. After a few hours of air though, the wine really filled out. A waxy floral note emerged, and it gained strength on the palate, with baked tropical fruit. Pull the cork and allow a couple of hours to breathe, or give it some time in a decanter.
The cork was completely saturated, but no indication of seepage, or even oxidation. Compared to the previous experience with this wine, two years ago, I would say it is just past it's peak, and starting it's downward trajectory. The nose features mild aromas of honey and butter. One will still enjoy a huge, smooth and oily mouthfeel, showcasing flavors of honey, butterscotch, and minerals, all followed by a long explosive buttery finish. If you have them, I would start drinking them!
Allred brought this over last weekend for dinner at our home. I must say that this was not my style of wine. i don't think there was anything wrong or flawed about this wine but the flavor profile was not to my liking. I prefer my white Rhones with more spice and grip. This seemed a little flat and the fruit was soft. I think this was a result of very low acidity. Straw yellow color. This had a good base of minerals with waxy fruit notes noticed by Allred. Medium bodied. Just didn't do much for me. 84 points.
Taken to Chateau Vino Me for an impromptu dinner. My first experience with a dry white Rhone with this much age, and I liked it. Still plenty of fruit, though with waxy, lanolin-like notes and slight nutty flavors. Dry and full-bodied, with a nice somewhat long finish. 90-92 pts.
At the moment, this wine is what I like to call "the real deal"! A complex, typical white hermitage nose, featuring honeyed white fruit, nuts, and wet stones. Absolutely wonderful on the palate. Full bodied and incredibly focused and rich. A very concentrated, oily texture, but not heavy or too thick. Powerful but elegant, and very aristocratic! The seemingly never ending finish comes in an explosive fashion with the essence of stones and minerals combined with a unique warm honey element that lingers. Very balanced, mature and complete! Possibly peaking, but surely will last for years to come!
Polygamists Dinner at Michael's (Winnetka, IL): Light gold with a mature, somewhat musty nose of spice and honey aromas. Palate has an oily texture and medium body. Lacks acidity and picks up a nutty, maderized profile. On a limb, this is either over-the-hill or shut down --- but not drinking as well as it could.
North Rhône Offline (Rotisserie Jules, South Kensington): A lovely, deepish gold. A big nose; quite marzipanny. Very rich attack, feeling a touch oxidised. Rich and mature. Initially, it just appears very palatable indeed, with lots of interest, though not feeling particularly great. With time, however, it really grew on me. It's quite sumptuous and very deep, with excellent balance. Excellent. 95/100. Coming back to this one, again around four hours later, it still has a sweet marzipanny nose. good attack. Very well balanced on the palate. Quite intense. Very dry, very concentrated fruit. Very Good Indeed +. 93/100
Chapoutier verticale at St John (London): Deep, fresh nose, quite complex, very toasty. A bit of barnyard (?). Nice finish. The palate is losing some weight with more air. Not the best example I've had from this wine but still very good.
Dinner with Jeff Leve at Lucques (Los Angeles): My best bottle of this wine so far, which confirmed that at least one bottle I've had was badly oxidised. The wine was open for business and delivering a lot of pleasure in a precise, focused way - a very subtle wine with a lot of discrete aromas, ever-chaning with a long finish. I'm still no big fan of white Rhones but this one was definitely a great example.
Northern Rhone tasting with the Lakeshore Boys (My house): Double decanted an hour and a half before serving and drank over the next 45 minutes. Honeyed fruit with an oily texture. Seemed a little flabby compared to the Chave. Fully mature, this wine was better in its youth (just the opposite of the Chave).
Very light colour, and a superb nose of candied fruits, orange, lemon, honey, caramel. But the mouth is diluted, without strength and very little viscosity (but tons of bitterness). The finish is very long and nice. Great nose and great finish, but they don't make up for the very weak palate: it really feels like drinking water with a hint of lemon or orange and a powerful bitter aspect. It tastes like diluted sherry. [Update: after more than 2 days in the fridge, the wine has changed dramatically and is now really gorgeous. The nose is even stronger with a dominating aroma of apricot, the finish is as long as before but more powerful, and the palate has mysteriously gained viscosity. The bitterness has almost completely disappeared. A great wine!]
Pale straw colour. Toasty aromas of almonds, hazlenuts and a whiff of apricots. A well structured wine, dry and viscous with a very delicate acidity and a spicy finish reminiscent of carraway seeds. Very good and well matched with the coriandre and spring onions in the crab salad amuses bouche that we had as a starter.
Dark yellow with big legs. Oily and viscous consistency. Improved as it warmed up. Typical mature characteristics of hazelnut and almond with a soft silky finish. English tea biscuit taste. Long finish. Showing well today.