A Fine Night at La Belle Vie (La Belle Vie, Mpls): Dark red color. PNP, drank 2 glasses over 90 minutes. Great nose, smoke, raspberry-strawberry tart, fresh tobacco, lavender, deep damp earth, and herbes de Provence. The palate has medium plus body, black cherry, red currants, choke cherry, tart, anise, tobacco, pepper, asian spices, and silky tannins and a long savory finish. 94+pts.
The victim of some bottle variation, this was good, but not much more. The nose seemed like it was holding back, even after 2 hours in decanter and 6 hours of Audoze. The palate lacked freshness and detail, which was kind of maddening as the nose suggested there was a good amount of material tucked inside. Ultimately, this showed past peak, though far from dead. Medium-bodied, acids and tannins much livelier than the fruit. Good, just not exciting. 14,5% abv.
Served non-blind. A fair amount of very fine, silt-like sediment was decanted off, the wine returned to bottle.
Gray market bottle that appears to have come through Denmark. Red. Vivid raspberry alternating with garrigue, then a dash of pepper and licorice. Medium weight, just gorgeous, smooth texture with the barest touch of perceptible wood. Beautiful, fresh, and in all likelihood at its peak.
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(Le Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz) Slightly bricking dark red violet color; tar, black fruit, anise, charcoal, tobacco nose; tar, tart black fruit, oak, licorice palate with depth; long finish 93+ pts.
(Le Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz) Deep dark purple violet color; beet, borscht nose; concentrated, garrigue palate with big tannins, needs several years; medium-plus finish 92+ pts.
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