December 8, 2020 - I've always had a soft spot for this wine, as it is the same vintage as my son. At 11 years of age, boy shows no sign of maturation, but wine does! Popping and pouring, I feared I might be whacked in the nose by a freshly-sawn wooden plank. But instead, there were beautiful secondary notes of black cherry, leather, tar, dried flowers, rosemary, too many to name. Of course there's still a very strong oaky creamy note, but not of the wobbly sour kind one typically finds in very young wines. No, this wine is well into the teenage years, without any hint of awkwardness. Fruit and tannin are still battling it out, but not so fiercely as before. And fruit will win for sure, it is robust, vibrant and has decades left in the tank. They say the first person to live to 140 has already been born. Perhaps so has the first wine?
July 26, 2020 - Decanted for about a half hour, then drank over an hour. Dark ruby. Dark fruit nose which needed some coaxing. Palate of mostly red fruit with some black fruit. Just a hint of spice, difficult to place (nutmeg or clove). Over time the finish of red fruit got longer and more persistent, but remained one dimensional. A little overwhelmed by our Sunday roast beef which was surprising for this cuvee in my experience. Plush and hedonistic, if tasted blind I would have struggled to place Northern Rhone (let alone Hermitage LC) as comes across as a very modern, almost New World Cabernet. Well made and quaffable but lacking a sense of place (Rhone rangers watch out!). 93-94. Hold for many years to see if complexity develops or drink now if you like ‘em fruity.
July 25, 2020 - Double decanted for an hour, deep ruby, dark fruit with spices, med. tannins, long finish; outstanding, drink or hold, just entering what should be a long plateau
July 18, 2020 - Tasted with Garrick Steak. On hour decant. Definitely ready to drink now, but promises of more to come.
July 16, 2020 - Beautiful structure and concentration. This will continue evolve but was irresistible now.
February 29, 2020 - Last minute gathering - La Chapelle, La Turque & Courbis (Washington DC): Still opaque color close to a newly released syrah. Pop and pour, incredibly youthful nose displaying ripe concentrated black fruit, blackberry jam, blackberry liqueur, blueberry pie, ink, licorice, lavender, cedar, charred steak, lead pencil, dark spices, ink and crushed rock. Exceptional concentration, layers upon layers of concentrated black fruit, silky and weightless, precise and beautifully detailed, perfect amount of acidity and mineral, and a seamless long ripe black fruit driven finish with ink and cedar at the end. The tannins are mostly masked by beautifully layered fruit. I am convinced that this will be a cleaner, more precise and purer version of the 90. La Chapelle gets no love but the property has been making excellent wines since the 09.
December 27, 2019 - Lots of dark berries, violets & earthy notes intermingle with vanilla & oak, noticeable but softening tannins & medium acid. Full bodied & still quite youthful & primary.
November 22, 2019 - Intense, big wine but not out of balance. Meat and blood, blackberry and dark cherry, olives, cedar, hint of vanilla, spice. Great length and refreshing acidity - lively. Very Hermitage and very good.
October 12, 2019 - Excellent wine that is approachable now, but will improve in the next few years and I expect to hold for 15+.
QPR is 2nd to none. Can hang with some of the best in all of Rhone and is 1/2 or in some cases 1/3 of the price.
all that said, I don't think this will age like an 03 Chave Hermitage or the top 09 Guigal wines as some people suggest.
February 27, 2019 - At the Michelin restaurant in Courchevel La Tania. With Paul. €114 a reasonable price for an excellent wine. Drinking now with at least 5 years before it peaks.