Still very good - all though I am not so enthusiastic as last time, perhaps because this was tasted vis-a-vis the more elegant Gonon 2001. Tonight this wine was showing quite a bit heavier, loads of dark fruit but also still some oak, and while the polished Guigal-style is part part the game, in this case it did cover a bit the notes of pepper, olives etc. - the meat is certainly here. Note to self. Maybe on should try to follow ones own advice and decant ... anyway, still years to go and on the primary side. Not sure, though, that it will improve much
I have had bottles of this that showed much more sweet fruit than this one. Having tasted a bunch of wines from the 2001 vintage in the Northern Rhone, I am coming to the view that the vintage is such that these wines will take much longer to come around (same experience recently with the 2001 La Turque). Alas this was my last bottle.
The wine clearly needs time in the decanter. We brought it to a restaurant, and didn't have the luxury of a lot of time to have it sit in the decanter. The wine clearly has depth, structure and pedigree, but needs some more time in the bottle or a lot of time in the decanter! This will be a seamlessly balanced, gorgeous wine with the benefit of a few more years in the cellar.
Singing tonight. Decanted 3 hours, which seems imperative - I brought it to the restaurant, and the waiter initially thought it was corked! It was not. It opened op beautifully with a very clear fruit, still hints of oak, but more or less integrated, and yes, the flamboyant fruit have shown to be enough. This is certainly better than the 200 and has very much local character in spite of Guigals somewhat extreme wine making, there is olives, bacon garrigue here, but first of all the berries you need. Bravo. Will keep - but no need to wait. With U&A at Frederiks Have.
Is this going to get better from here? Yes, it could oxidize further, add some leather tones and sourness at the expense of the still present fruit. The tannins were gone and St Joseph's softer character was present.
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