This was an amazing bottle. I disagree with most of the recent tasting notes, but I do admit that I don't have much experience drinking aged Northern Rhones. If they are better than this, then I can't wait to have those experiences.
This was showing no signs of age in it's color. The nose was full of dark fruit and spices with some Tabaco and motor oil. The palate was powerful and delicious with smoke and lush dark fruit and a very long finish. Bravo!
This wine was for English tastes. Fully mature and with leather and some loss of fruit it was nonetheless appealing with the chicken liver appetizer. This was my last bottle and I should have consumes several years ago.
Almost no signs of aging, dark red to brick red, tastes almost by blood and forest grouse breast. Highly concentrated, yet elegant Hermitage, dark berries, pepper and a little touch of smoke and oak, fresh and balanced. A perfect wine now for deer, elk, or a bloody beef steak
Is this a little too perfect?, A little too smooth ?, but do not misunderstand, an excellent wine, everything is done correctly, a textbook wine, perfect color, smell, and taste for a 1990 Rhone, but is it a little boring?. Is it old or young, we somehow disagreed. Someone said, probably from a big manufacturer that provides solid quality, and that's right. But it gets a little boring after a while, almost like drinking coca cola. If you still have some bottles in the cellar, put it away for a few more years, let it be a bit older, then it might get a little more personality
Double decanted a couple of hours before service. This is still a big and young wine. Classic barnyard nose with good cassis fruit and good acidity. Paired pretty well with slow roasted pork shoulder with hoisin sauce. At least 15 years of good drinking left.
Rhone Tasting: A bit stewy on the nose, but plenty alive with dark berries and earth. Still going strong with medium tannins, medium-low acid, the fig, plum cake, and dried black cherries mix with peppery-spice, loam and dusty soil. A bit hesitant at times but plenty of structure.
Bright ruby red core, beautiful nose of dark red fruits, pepper and tar. Initially quite youthful and engaging on the palate. Balanced, nice texture with a med finish. After and hour in the glass the texture became more velvety, the palate revealed secondary elements of smoked meat, spice and violets. At maturity, drinking very well
Fading color. The nose shows aromas of smoke, earth, dark berries, flowers and iron. This is fairly full bodied on the palate, with good concentration and decent finesse. The tannins are a bit drying now and it seems this may be past its best. Medium plus length on the finish.
Earthy bouquet. This bottle seemed more complex than the last time I tasted it, showing flavors of roasted meat, iron, minerals, and briar. Exceptional depth. In beautiful condition, although in my opinion it is now at or slightly past its peak.
Tremendous nose of dark fruit, camphor, smoke and some flowers. Full bodied with plenty of tannins left and the fruit starting to fade just a bit. A little out of synch with the fruit and tannins. Long long finish. Very pleasing wine.
Second Sunday Group: Older California Pinots (Barb's): My first tatse, poured just a couple of minutes after the bottle was opened, was uninspiring to say the least. It displayed a dominant ash overtone, with weedy red fruit underneath. About thirty minutes later, Domino poured a glass- meat, red fruit, pepper, spice and dark fruit aromas. Red fruit, roasted game and pepper flavors on the palate. Long finish with plenty of fruit. Give this a brief decant or some time in the glass to open. Drinking extremely well with a bit of air.
Very impressive. Mature nose of dark fruit, meats, spice, earth and iron. Full and rich on the palate. Covers your tongue with a complete mix of flavors that match the nose. Nice sweetness. Long finish. Smooth. Probably at its peak.
Beautiful example of a mature medium weight Hermitage. Now an elegant wine with no single aspect dominating. Indeed the pieces are harmonious to the point that it barely resembles the previous bottles I've drunk in the last few years.
Beautiful wine Bright red color. Looks like there is a lot of life left in this. Nose of cigar, cedar, dark cherries. Nice red fruit on the palate, with secondary notes of tobacco and leather. Quite delicious.
robe d'un rouge profond et intrigant. Le nez est magnifique, des arômes de fraises des bois, cerises rouges et des pointes végétales et de vanille. En bouche, c'est un vin superbe, les tannins sont encore présents, des épices fines, des fraises, une raisonnance enrobante... De la réglisse et une légère touche de poivre blanc. Très beau vin auquel il reste encore plusieurs années. Belle évolution dans le verre.
Another outstanding bottle of this wine. This may be one of the best I have had so far. Medium red, no sign of age. Smells of cherries, leather, tobacco and cedar. Fine flavors of bitter Amarena cherry, along with blueberries and tar. Not a hint of the slight rancio flavors I had in the last bottle - this one is perfectly mature, but not at all old. Lovely acid balance. Wonderful with food. I do believe that this wine will hold up for a few years, so I am in no rush to drink it up. Silky, elegant, and everything you could ask for in an aged Hermitage. This bottle was decanted for only 1-2 hours, it gets better and better as it remains open.
I'd say acidqueen hit it on the head with her note. This wine really opens up after about 2-3 hours decanted. Lovely fruit and spice complexity. At about 3 hours a nice meatiness begins to develop, which make this more interesting. Good stuff! (91 -92).
Another beautiful bottle of this wine. Garnet w slight bricking at edge. Showing slightly mature notes, but it is not old. It drinks like a Burgundy in style and elegance. Peppery, wth dark cassis flavors, as well as earthy, mushroom flavors. Still with some dusty dry tannins on the finish. Needs decanting for sure. Wonderfully mature and at its peak, but it seems to be holding at this level and probably for a few years.
Clear medium brick red, mature but not old. Black fruits, orange peel, good acid. Bitter sweet cherries in syrup. Some tannins left but smoothed out with food. Elegant, silky wine. I really love this wine - so flavorful, so smooth, great balance. So easy to drink.
Out of 375cc. Very different than the wine I drank 3 years ago (also from a 375). Now more subdued with less depth, but still great ripe red fruit, tar, and quite a bit of acid. I really liked this wine which has now turned rather burgundian (sort of Maranges-like). As a burgundy guy I really dug that, but was much more characteristic 3 years ago. I dont see this improving with time but it is drinking well at the moment. Still nice the next night with more smoke and meat coming through.
Dark rich berry nose with some earth but very composed. Wood and earth were there but subdued and in harmony with the medium full intensity fruit. Developed slowly with airing but always delightful. Good amount of sediment, should have decanted it.
Drank this wine with a filet mignon pan-sauted in the same wine (crazy!), shallots, Spanish paprika and lavendar. Both before dinner and with dinner this wine was outstanding. Although now 21 years old, this wine is a medium red with no brown at the edge, and has fine, dusty tannins on the finish. It really does need decanting. On first opening, there were notes of barnyard, leather, tobacco and a whiff of camphor. After time in the glass, the leather stayed, but added kumquat, plum and dark jammy fruits in the nose and mouth. It continued to evolve in a very nice way through and after dinner. Nice balance and acidity. This wine is silky smooth - one of those wines that makes you want to open a second and probably won't give you a hangover the next day. Although this wine drinks beautifully now, I don't see any reason that this won't hold for awhile given the tannin, fruit and acid balance here. It continued to develop from opening through dinner and 3 hours later - I suspect it will be good tomorrow as well, but won't have any left to try out. Superb, and why I love good Hermitage. Glad I have another 11 bottles left.
Xmas Eve Dinner: Alcohol :: 13% Despite decanted for 5hrs, this 20yrs old hermitage show youthful dark ruby colour with expressive pure sweet dark fig, plum Provencal herb and spices with some secondary note of earthy, mushroom aromas and wild game tones that's very seductive and complex. Still posses good weight and dense, lush sweet dark fruits, some dusty element that distract a bit but this quickly rescued by the sweet fig, peppery and round mineral that form a very smooth texture showing good harmonious, depth and sense of elegance, mineral long finish with touch of roasted herbs. At its peak, very enjoyable with this should have no problem to hold for another 10yrs. Buy - Maybe.
Rhone Varietal Tasting (Our House (2033 Brandywine St., Philadelphia)): Funk on the nose blows off. Gamey, earthy and secondary on the nose, but there is a bit of more delicate red fruit peeking through as well. Nice structure with great secondary notes. Black pepper, bell pepper, leather. Nice finish. 20 years on, this is still in a good spot and while I do not see it lasting in this spot for many more years, it is really nice right now.
Syrahs and other Rhone varietals (Roberts House): funky nose, but it blows off a bit. looking through that is a wonderfully secondary and fully evolved palate. stewed meat, black fruit, and sweet spice. nice acidic structure keeps it fresh. the finish is med(-) and a little bit watery.
Amazing wine. Nose of leather, dark fruit, herbs and smoke. Taste was full of dark cherries, cinnamon and cardamon. Still some tannin and some wonderful acidity. Beautiful long finish. Fully mature but not showing any signs of deteriorating. Perfect with a cassoulet with duck confit.
Starts immediately with a solid serving of tapenade. Black olive and oil on nose and palate. Then a strong barnyard component steps up, but this is the venue for it. Leather, blood, tart fruit, and always olives. Even a slight hint of cream on the nose at some points. Very nice wine in a really good place. Tannins resolved but you can still sense them on the finish. No bricking, very youthful in color. Very lightly done compared with more modern Syrahs, but very flavorful. I enjoyed this very much.
very nice, good color, nose of herbs and pepper, well integrated tannins , spice and undelying mouth coating cherries - went with mushrooms so well. This wine is ready ready to drink and is not likely to get better - drink up
Let me tell you something, when you open a bottle of red after midnight, you really don’t need it…. I’m glad we did open this though. This was a fresh, energetic bottle that had a big heart of sweet cassis is blood plum and was tinged with tar and earth. There’s a bit of horsey bret and some camphor and mint notes.
Garnet with a brick rim. Lovely soft nose with jammy raspberry fruits, smoke and a hint of vanilla. Medium body with good acidity and rich smooth tannins. Intense deep flavours, long into the throat. Sweet red fruits, mixed nuts, smoky tobacco, leather and pepper. Sweet vanilla coated almonds in the long finish. Superb.
(90-93) Drank with Paul at Brasserie Beck, alongside Paul’s 1989 Chateneauf-de-Pape Pegau. We liked it better than the Pegau! While the Pegau was fuller, meatier, and more masculine, this wine tasted like a Pomerol. Very fine, indeed.
Great dark color still. Drinking beautifully with a lovely complexity of smoky black fruits with yummy lavendar/violet notes. Still full and powerful and capable of aging much longer. Still, this sang with Osso Buco.
Tasting Group Dinner - Northern Rhône (Fugaise, Minneapolis): Amazingly bretty nose -- I believe Brad's term was "1990 Montrose squared." Accompanying the barnyard smells and flavors are layers of iron, dried herbs, dark fruit, smoke, and leather. This is medium-bodied, complex, and quite delicious if you don't mind a bit of horse in your glass. Not sure if this bottle was 100% representative?
Mpls does Northern Rhone (Chave, Guigal, Jaboulet, Chapoutier, Clape, more): Another great bottle of wine. The nose features red fruit and a bit of barnyard/brett. I found this to be complimentary, but others found it off-putting. On the palate this is very structured, very tannic and very drying but with a good cherry and spice flavor that balanced this out pretty well. I had a slight preference for this 1990 over the 1978, but I don't think that was the consensus pick.
Vibrant ruby color. Powerful bouquet of dark fruit, spice, and just a hint of earth. Poured carefully from a tipped-up bottle; fair amount of sediment. Delicious, classic Hermitage: bluberry/cherry, maybe a little prune, spice, and earth. Somewhat lacking in complexity, but thoroughly enjoyale. Both the nose and flavors faded considerably after about 2 hours; agree with others that it's getting time to drink this up. If decanting, keep the air time fairly short before serving.
Seriously disappointing. This well-stored bottle had no real life and only vague varietal/terroir characteristics. Dominated by what one taster described as a "stalky" or vegetal quality, it tasted to me oddly like a tomato. It did not taste "old", just strange, as though possessed by an alien. We did not finish more than half the bottle.
After posting my note and reading the other reviews, it seems this wine is subject to pretty severe bottle variation. Mine wasn't very good, but clearly others had memorably positive experiences. Caveat emptor.
Much better than the last bottle I had (from same purchase and cellar). The color was perhpas a tad darker and more youuthful. The nose was extremely complex that just grew deeper and bolder as it sat it the glass. Notes of dirt and forest floor, sauteed pepper steak with sauted mushrooms, some plum, overripe cherry, and spices-eventually some hints at orange peel and shoe polish/rubber. The mouthfeel shows its age where it is a bit lean and acidic. The finish is pleasant but dominated by a black pepper taste. I think this bottle was an example of as good as this wine can get at this age. Fully mature and won't get any better, but still highly enjoyable. Also very old world in style.
taste: wonderful resolved tannins and acidity with well balanced flavors of black pepper, dark spices, black cherry, and roasted meats
overall: an excellent hermitage. It got lost a bit in the burg fireworks and the montrose, but this is an outstanding wine that is drinking great with a nice full and resolved attack of black pepper and dark spices with a good medium finish of black cherry
IWFSC 736th Dinner (The Racquet Club): Well, what a difference a bottle makes. From the same purchase and same cellar as the bottle from 4 months ago, this didn't show anywhere near as well - lacking all the classic Hermitage character of smokey bacon and black pepper that the previous bottle(s) had. This was full deep red in color with big bright briar red fruit on the nose. Nice round red fruit with just a hint of sweet left on the palate along with decent structure and acidity. Actually a very nice wine itself, it just wasn't the pleasant surprise the past bottles have been. Maybe it was a root day!
IWFSC 732nd Dinner (Primehouse): Another really strong showing for this wine - well above my expectations. Full deep purple red color. Huge nose of ripe black boysenberry with bacon notes. Lovely big ripe black fruit on the palate with clear coffee notes. 94+ pts.
Still going strong, with lots of bacon fat, grilled meat, and roasted blackberry aromas and flavors. It needed about an hour of air before it put on enough weight to truly strut its stuff. Interesting white pepper and licorice snap nuances on the finish. Drink now through 2011.
Wine battle 2 (Niels' place): Dark brown with some sediment. Another mature and great nose of tobacco, leather, barnyard, some herbal notes. Very intense and with a long aftertaste. The Guigal 1990's are performing very well indeed tonight. Rating: 93-94.
Needed 60 minutes of air to start comming around. At peak or slightly past.
Notes of tobacco, earth and meat are pronounced, but still plenty of fruit hanging around to make this wine interesting. A short finish (with a slight metalic aftertaste) keep this from scoring higher.
Better than I remembered, well integrated and ready to drink with nice tertiary aromas (leather, tobacco) but still lacking a bit in terms of complexity and length. In short a very good and satisfying Hermitage, but not a mind-boggling experience for this vintage.
Bernard Antony Ceremonie des Fromages with Steve & Barb. Garnet in color, this wine seemed to me to be at peak, though in no danger of falling off quickly. Beautiful sweet nose followed by a medium to medium+ bodied palate that was rich and glyceral. 50+13+12+8+8 = 91
First mature bottle, after a rather vigorous double decant with substantial deposits, the wine had about an hour or so to the restaurant. Tasted with a nice flight of N Rhones, this was showing maturity, but was still dense and dark red on the rim. The aromatics were very cool lavender, sweet violets and some saddle leather. The wine was medium bodied, was very elegant and smooth as it carressed the palate. Soy sauce, smoke, black fruit, hints of rhone herbs and precise balance were all melded toghther in a package where nothing sticks out. Tannins resolved, but still ample acidity. Well done, and no hurry on the remaining bottles (10 years i am sure). But I did store them well from release in 1995.
Opened two bottles for an informal gettogether. There was notable bottle variation. The first was more rustic with smoke and earth on the nose. On the palate, it was a little tired with earthiness, black pepper and meaty flavors and just a hint of fruit. It was stll very enjoyable.
The second bottle had a more prominent nose with floral scents and berry fruit. It filled the mouth with fruit and spice against a backround of earthiness and a hint of the meaty flavors. The fruit finish seemed to go on forever.
The first bottle tasted like it was just past it's peak. The second had many years left. I would give the first bottle a 89 and the second a 93.
Very dark color with some browning on the rim and a little into the glass. Decanted 2 hours with quite a lot of sediment being thrown. Not much on the nose initially, but 3 hours after decanting this opened up and was all about meat and dark cherries. There were some other things going on but this was a wine you almost wanted to chew it was so 'solid'. Nice finish too. Still with good structure to last a few more years. Not sure where this is going, however. Will plan on consuming the final bottle in the next year.
Nice hermitage with lots of funk on the nose at first but then the fruit comes back and shines through. It showed according to expectations but didn't particularly impress me. Good wine but nothing special. Probably at peak and to be drunk in the next couple of years.
$30 retail in 1996. I should have loaded up as this is really impressive stuff. Although it is showing well now, it still has much life ahead of it in a decent cellar. Dark color. Old-school aromas of black fruit, tar and tobacco. Well structured. Less perfumed than a '91 Jamet Cote-Rotie (see TN) drunk earlier in the evening. Unfortunately, my last bottle.
Definitely not over the hill as previously thhought. Still has beautiful bouquet and drk ruby color delivers full mouthfulls of flavor. Doesn't taste like rasberrys, cinamon, etc. Tastes like a great Syrah.
Seattle Tasting Group does older Northern Rhône reds (Bellevue, WA, USA): A slightly odd nose with putty, mineral, clove, and then some leathery, bretty smells which added a lot of intrigue to the wine. Much lighter in complexion than some of the other wines and offering less sweetness, this was still gorgeous in a more Burgundian vein, pretty and feminine. The palate showed loads of salty minerals with very little sweetness. To me this actually still seems pretty tightly wound, although perhaps it will dry out long before the tannin is resolved. I enjoyed this more than most of the other tasters.
Dark purple color, with hardly any signs of age. Explosive blackberry nose that you could smell several feet away right from the first pour. Some interesting tea and cardamom nuances. No brett or Rhone stink, whatsoever. On the palate, there is a core of intense black raspberry fruit and razor sharp black pepper, with some bacon fat lurking in the background. Still full of vibrant acidity and sturdy tannins, this wine is probably at its peak and will probably hold there for another 2-3 years. A terrific match with my meal (a duck-breast and leg-confit composition with a green peppercorn sauce).
Tasting six Rhones, sixth place. Brilliant, red, rich color in the glass. Lovely rich fruity nose with cedar and tobacco on the nose and palate, medium amount of very soft tannins present, short finish.