From magnum. Much better than the bottle opened in October. A wonderfully mature nose of funk, barnyard, dried fruit and spices. One of Christian's friends said that he wanted to just sit and smell this wine all night long. A medium bodied wine with a palate of nice red fruit, sous-bois and spices. The tannins are fully resolved. Chateauneuf du Pape from a time when there was more focus on subtlety and finesse than noise and blockbusters. Lovely.
From magnum. The wine must have been filtered before bottling because there is no sediment whatsoever in the bottle. Good mature Chateauneuf in a surprisingly light style. The tannins are fully integrated and soft. I get an on-and-off metallic flavor on the palate which is slightly disturbing. This is a good but not great wine. The 1994 version enjoyed at La Table Comtat in Seguret this summer was far more distinguished and the 1995 tradition from this grower has far more punch.
Champagne and Rhones at Craig's (Henriot, Chapoutier, Guigal, Chave, Telegraph, others): My contribution to the night. Tasted from magnum. Double decanted about five hours before serving. Deep red color. Appears extremely youthful. The nose is an expressive blend of black fruit, mineral, garrigue and a mild barnyard funk. Brooding yet enticing. On the palate this has an appealing blend of red fruit, mineral and earth. The weight and texture are very nice and the overall balance is impressive. Flavors are expansive in the palate from the attack through the long satisfying finish. This bottle was much better than a previous bottle tasted. Drinking well now and should hold for quite awhile (especially in magnum form).
Winestreet Tasting of Mostly Rhones (Delas Freres, La Vieille Julienne, Bosquet des Papes and others): Deep red color. Appears extremely youthful. The nose is a reserved but enticing blend of garrigue and dark fruit. Brooding. On the palate this has good fruit but presents a distracting hotness on the mid-palate. This is still fairly tannic but the alcohol/hotness kept this from being balanced. The finish is a little clipped. I really enjoyed this wine but it could be so much more if the mid-palate and finish were a little better. I think it's a stretch to think this will improve with additional time in the bottle. Tasted from Magnum.
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