Most of the 2015 Northern Rhones worth a damn, blind

Chicago, IL

Tasted October 27, 2018 by acyso with 472 views

Introduction

Wines were opened about 3-4 hours before service.

If Sorrel and Bénetière were in the lineup, it would say "All" instead of "Most".

Flight 1 (17 notes)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Agrapart & Fils Champagne Grand Cru Complantée Extra Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
93 points
My notes say: "May 2014, disg. 2016." I don't know if I copied something wrong there. In any case, I think this is a clear step up from the 7 Crus. It's a little softer and gentler, but the balance is perfect and this is just incredibly pleasurable to drink right now. A nice touch of green apples on the finish here -- this is nice and rounded and there's no acidity screaming in your face here.
Red
2015 Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
flawed
Corked.
Red
2015 Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
90 points
Served single blind. Initially, this was a little thin on the nose and palate, and I thought it came across quite simply, with some pleasant red fruit, a nice perfume, but not quite enough potency and power on the palate. Upon revisiting later on in the evening, this had definitely picked up some heft, and the real olive notes started to perk up as well. I'm not sure if this is more closed than the last few times I had this, but air is a friend to this wine at least right now.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Domaine Faury St. Joseph Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
93 points
Served single blind. You know, I was pretty convinced that this was the Gonon until I actually got to the Gonon later in the line up. Intense black fruit, with a slightly purple character. The brine and olives are really played up here, and that's certainly a nice testament to this wine. More than pleased at the reveal -- this is a wine that easily punches above its weight, and I'm more than pleased to own some of them.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
88 points
Served single blind. (Bottle 4648.) Amazing what obscuring the label can do. This was high-toned, with some really prickly oak aromas on the nose that no one really enjoyed. There was some really pretty fruit on the palate, but a slightly bitter twist of oak on the back end that I thought wasn't particularly becoming of the rest of the palate. Finishes a touch hot too. Given that sort of in-your-face oak treatment here, I thought that this was the Voge VV. In comparison to my previous note, I'll admit to a bit of egg on the face here. I think the wine might be fine in isolation, but compared to the other wines that have a low oak treatment, this will never show well this young. All this said, am I going off to market to dump my 2015 Chave? Hell no.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
85 points
Served single blind. Dark fruit, with a bit of a real rustic stink to it. Behind that slight bit of dirtiness is a nice amount of fruit, but it is some work to look for it. The palate is rustic and fairly coarse, and while again there's pleasant fruit, it's not obvious, and this tapers off on the back end with some acidity and sort of evaporates on the palate. I'm not entirely sure what to make of this, as it really ought to be better than it is. Time?
Red
2015 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave St. Joseph Clos Florentin France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
90 points
Served single blind. I think I liked this a little more than others did tonight. This was black-fruited, juicy, and very forward on the palate. Pleasant, with a softer touch, and I thought this was probably one of the lesser producers, given its attenuated complexity and straightforward disposition. Not particularly profound, and with air, some of the oak starts to rear its head.
Red
2015 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
95 points
Served single blind. A nice mix of red and black fruit and a maddeningly pretty perfume here. Great intensity throughout as well. There's a slight green stemmy tinge that adds a nice bit of interest. The palate is incredibly pure, with a raciness that I love. The palate's fruit feels more on the red side, and there was an elegance here that I loved. Ended up thinking that this was the Jamet, given the redder complexion of the fruit here.
Red
2015 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
95 points
Served single blind. How coincidental that the two Allemands ended up next to each other. Black fruit, with a bit of a black cherry ice cream note on the nose that implies delicious sweet fruit. The palate is really structured, with heaps of tannin and lots and lots of fruit. It's a svelte wine at the same time, with a silky texture and really lovely concentration. I had this pegged as the Balthazar Chaillot. Perhaps I didn't expect this wine to be quite so backward.
Red
2015 Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet (Hervé Souhaut) St. Joseph Les Cessieux France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
95 points
Served single blind. A real winner in my book tonight, with its lovely green tones and silky elegance. Really graceful, with a really nice raciness, and no signs of weird hipster behaviour going on here. The back end has a moderate amount of grainy tannin, and there's a really lovely elegance here. The fruit, clean and polished, and veering a bit towards the blacker side of the spectrum, had me guessing that this was the Allemand Chaillot.
Red
2015 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
90 points
Served single blind. A slight bit of reduction on the nose, with a massive amount of tannin on the palate. Really intense and burly -- the amount of tannin here makes the wine almost come across as slightly bitter. There are some spice notes that air can coax out, as well as a really nice smoky note on the nose as well. Upon revisiting, I think that this will end up being a fairly good wine, but this is something that needs time. The relatively tannic and rustic feel on this wine had me thinking that this was a Cornas of some sort.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Bernard Levet Côte-Rôtie La Chavaroche France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
93 points
Served single blind. You know, I've never been the biggest fan of Levet because I don't tend to enjoy too many gamy notes in my wines (not a fan of lamb, goat, or other gamy meats), and throughout the entire evening, I was looking for that one wooly wine that should have stuck out in that way. This never did. It's a coiled powerhouse of a wine, with tons of burly tannins and a really rustic quality, with incredibly delicious black fruit. Given that sort of character, I thought that this was the Clape.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 La Grande Colline Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
90 points
Served single blind. Immediately identified as the Ooka. It's so distinctive and it's so obvious this is one of those "natural" wines, but there's none of those unpleasant mousy aromas here. Very clean, even if the floral tones of natural winemaking do rear their head. The high-toned nature (and slight spritz) of this wine seems to not only accentuate the floral aromas, but also some really nice olive tones as well. (As a side note, I've always loved how La Grande Colline translates to 大岡. It's a great multilingual play on words.)
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2015 Domaine Lionnet Cornas Terre Brûlée France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
93 points
Served single blind. I was pretty convinced that this was a Chave bottling of some sort (probably the Clos Florentin), with its nice, sweet black fruit and really elegant polish. It's missing a bit of the olive and meat elements, but this is nonetheless a slick and really enjoyable bottle of wine. The finish does have a slight touch of heat, and the vintage seems to carry through pretty prominently here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
95 points
Served single blind. I was fairly convinced that the Faury VV was the Gonon, until I tasted this wine. Instantly recognizable for its incredibly aromaticity and intensity. This edition of the Gonon St. Joseph has always towered over all the other vintages I've had (note: I missed the 2010 on release, and it's pointless to broach that wine right now). It's briny with an insane amount of fruit, but there's nothing here that is hot -- there's something about the character of this wine that cools off the heat. An absolute stunner and upon tasting this, I was fairly quickly convinced of the error of my initial guess.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
90 points
Served single blind. There's a lot of spicy character in this wine, and part of it came from the oak, and there's ample red fruit as well. It's clearly a bit of a modernist take on the region, but it's done in a fairly nice way. It's not necessarily the kind of wine I'd ever want to pull from my cellar, but it's pleasant enough. I thought it had a slight bit of carbonic character, and the fruit was definitely on the red end of the spectrum -- thought there was a chance this was a Souhaut, but couldn't square it with the oak.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet (Hervé Souhaut) Sainte-Epine France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
83 points
Served single blind. Pretty much went straight to Souhaut on this wine, with its unpleasant nose of farts. Stinky and dirty and really unpleasant. If you can get through the nose, the palate has some pleasant red fruit. But that's really where it ends: the wine comes apart on the finish, with the alcohol showing in a fairly disjoint way: sharp elbows and all that.
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