Darn good wine and this bottle was still on the upswing. No decant, consumed over one hour; proper treatment would have likely merited a higher score. Compares favorably to the '90 with perhaps a higher degree of delicacy and class. 94+
This was an Eureka moment. Had complex dusty, leathery, earthy, slightly funky blackberry,cherries, chalky minerals, menthol, white and black pepper aromas. Wonderful old-school austere, spartan yet huge earthy black fruity palate with fanatastic spherical middle. Ends long, dry, stylish and balanced. Svelt and poised like a ballet dancer
A long lunch at Helen's place (Martinborough, NZ): A real change of speed here! Deep relatively primary red colour. A very clean and pure nose of dark cherries and other red and dark berries, with espresso, cinnamon, Asian spice and savoury notes. On palate, a very rich and powerful wine. It was obviously Syrah, but elegantly handled and beautifully Burgundian, which takes you straight to JL Chave. The wine seemed relatively young, but with some development, it seemed to be right in its optimal drinking window. Beautifully proportioned and balanced. Vibrant but savoury. The palate was multi-layered and very detailed. Really superb, a class act! Thanks Rauno.
Chave Dinner (Le Perigord): Sweet cinnamon and cardomam spices with earthy black fruit. Rich and sensual but not big, beautifully elegant and silky, but with an odd citrusy twang on the back end. With air the nose shows a huge blast of mint toothpaste that I wasn't especially fond of. Did not improve in the glass with air. At first I preferred this to the 90 but with air I think I preferred the 90.
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(Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage) Bricking medium red violet color with clear meniscus; tobacco, mushroom, tart red fruit, pepper, roasted fruit nose; earthy, tasty, tart red fruit, tobacco, balsamic, smoke palate; long finish
(JL Chave Hermitage) A touch more closed than many other wines, although with time there is some dense fruit apparent, with an acidic raspberry character. Masculine, closed, and tannic on the palate, with good fruit. A slight oily-polyphenol edge to the delicious texture. Plenty of potential here.
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