WSET Level 4 Course - WSET School; 9/6/2014-5/23/2015 (WSET School, Bermondsey): Appearance: The wine is Clear with a Medium ruby colour. It is borderline deep ruby Nose: The nose is Clean and Developing, showing Pronounced intensity primary aromas of blackcurrant, black plum, red cherry, red plum, raspberry, lavender, liquorice, secondary aromas of vanilla, cloves, toast, cinnamon, smoke and tertiary aromas of tobacco, meaty, game. Palate: The wine is Dry in the mouth with a Medium(+) level of acidity. It has Medium(+) Firm ripe tannins and a High Level of alcohol (14.50%). It has Full body and Pronounced intensity primary flavours of red cherry, red plum, raspberry, black plum, blackcurrant, liquorice, lavender, secondary flavours of vanilla, cloves, toast, cinnamon, smoke and tertiary flavours of tobacco, meaty, game. The finish is Long Overall: Complex, long, intense, well integrated alcohol, great typicity - just a bit young, great scope for development. Conclusion: It is an Outstanding quality wine. Can Drink Now but has Potential for Ageing Borderline on Too Young. This needs more time to develop; Premium priced (£34.99)
This deep ruby wine (a blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault) offers an intense nose of garrigue, raspberry, spice and cocoa. Fresh, full-bodied and with medium-weight, somewhat rustic tannins, it delivers flavors which mirror the nose. The wine's alcohol (listed as 14%) is tightly integrated and the middle palate is sturdy. Medium in length and somewhat astringent on the back end, this is a structured Châteauneuf which will benefit from some time in the cellar. Drink 2016-2026.
Very pretty, lithe and subtle nose of raspberries just shy of being ripe which transfers to the palate as well. We talk about the palate of a wine sometimes betraying its aroma, not so with this Rhone. The '11 Vieux Donjon is about finesse and reminds me of an ethereal red from Sicily, Etna in particular. Also on the nose and palate is the classic Chateauneuf thyme and sage and let's throw some red licorice and leather in there as well. This Donjon just tastes so pure and light on its feet but is still effectual with a fairly long finish. The difference here is the lack of glycerin and without looking at what the labels might say I'm sure the '11 is at least a degree lower in alcohol than the '10, '09, and '07. I trashed the '08 from half bottle and this is far superior. Without having done any reading on the vintage I would guess 2011 was a fairly cool year by Rhone standards and judging by this is a break from the fruit bombs. Drink by Spring, 2020. What a beauty.
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(Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape) Barrel sample (already blended, set to be bottled at end of March 2013) - dark ruby color; appealing, lifted, dried berry, brett, garrigue nose; tasty, classic traditional Chateauneuf, garrigue, dried berry, lavender, anise palate; could use 1 year and should go 15 years (i.e., likely to be one of the longer lived 2011s); medium-plus finish 92-93 points (75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault)
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