Drank at Ned tasting blind vs several other Chateauneufs, and this was the favorite of many. Not me, though I was surprised by how well it has held up. Pale reddish hue, definite bricking at the edges.Lots of tertiary aromas--leather, earth, barnyard. Loads of sediment in the glass. Still a fair amount of dark fruits. Surprise of the night. Too bad it was my last bottle.
Nice wine. Not decanted, but should have as it had lots of sediment. Garnet color with slightly tawny edge - looked perfectly fine. Nose was mellow with sweet fruit bespeaking of integrated elements. Flavors were fairly rich and warm without being high in alcohol. Noted dark cherry, sassafras, and other spices on the palate. Really surprised given its age, but it was a treat. Served with short ribs - a perfect combo.
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(Guigal Côtes du Rhône) It has become something of a tradition for me to hold back a minor wine, or one that wouldn't generally be considered as suitable for cellaring, for my ten year on tastings. And in my experience these wines have a track record of yielding surprising and sometimes very enjoyable results. This wine is a case in point. The colour is fading to a rosy, very slightly tawny hue at the edge, but there is still a good density of colour at the core, and plenty of red pigment here too. The nose provides plenty of interest, starting off quite gamey and leathery, but surprisingly with air it reveals more fruit aromas, with a warm, spicy, garrigue-scented edge. It has good flesh at the start, and although initially it seems a little lean thereafter this displays a good, sweet, rounded texture of gritty, Grenache-cherry fruit. Having said that, at times it seems to have texture but little in the way of flavour, and the finish is somewhat spiky, coarse and angular, with a short but spicy character. Fair's fair though - I never expected it to perform as well as it has. It may not be the perfect wine, but it is certainly one worth admiration.
(Guigal Côtes du Rhône) An attractive, vibrant garnet hue. Nice development on the nose, which is fairly stinky, with mature cheese aromas and notes of burnt toffee. A good but simple palate. Nicely balanced, with some chewy, burnt fruit aromas and gentle acidity. Has a bit of grip which is appealing. Enjoyable wine which has shown the benefit of short-term bottle age. Ready, but will improve over the next year or two I feel.
(Guigal Côtes du Rhône) A youthful, vibrant, garnet-red hue. Quite classic on the nose, which is dominated by Grenache-derived cherry fruit, with a good depth of aroma. There's also some residual oak, and black pepper from the Syrah (the only grape in this blend I don't mention is the Mourvèdre). Good weight on entry, correct balance, with structure provided by some spice-edged tannins and sharp acidity. Good, youthful fruit. There's even the barest hint of residual carbon dioxide which provides freshness and lifts the wine across the palate, before it disappears.
(Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge) Good ripe fruit on the nose. Good acidity on the palate, packed with ripe, black fruit, spice and pepper. Seems a little thin, but I think more of it now than I did at my last tasting.
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