Post-Christmas Get Together (Mostly Loire Whites and Southern Rhone Reds) (San Francisco): Light ruby with tawny rim. Some animal elements on the nose along with blue fruit and distinct tree bark. Medium weight, good dark red fruit but much more serious and savory than the '05 Marcoux served before it. Still significant remaining tannin. Not as much of a crowd pleaser as the Marcoux, but I found it full of interest and not too funky to enjoy.
Ruby core with minimal fading. Classic aromatics of bark, garrigue, and raspberry fruit. Medium to full bodied, the fruit is there in balance with tobacco leaf and licorice, long tannic finish. I have a much stronger sense of how good this is compared to a bottle I had several months ago. Its tannic structure will serve it well for years, but this is not too brutal to enjoy now. Wonderfully savory and not in the least overripe.
Beautiful bouquet with a lot of good spiciness like e.g. thyme, minerals, some barnyard and also candy flavors. On the palate spreading through the mouth with beautiful garrigue, juicy fruits, some coffee and chocolate and a beautiful balance between acidity and sweetness. The tannin is beautifully soft and round. The wine is in its young maturity stage now. Full maturity probably in 2016 and definitely very nice several years after that. Lovely wine.
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(Domaine Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes) Medium dark magenta color with clarity; smoky spiced plum, sage, thyme and dried lavender nose; herbal, soft, sage, thyme, graphite and tart plum palate with medium acidity, but a little out of balance; tart medium finish