This was included in a generous gift box from Bob Ross a while back (thanks, Bob!) and for one reason or another I never got around to opening it until I rediscovered it just in time for this month's Wine Focus. At the age of seven, and having been stored under less-than-ideal passive conditions for the past couple of years, I figured it would be a fine test of the conventional wisdom that the top bottlings of the Beaujolais "<I>Cru</I>" villages can benefit from age, and that they turn "Burgundian" with extended cellar time. Sho' 'nuff! Growing quite funky but distinctly still alive, it showed abundant "barnyard" on the nose, not that there's anything wrong with that; remarkable "sweet" red fruit on the palate, more like a 20-year-old Burg than a 7-year Bojo, but a very fine old-wine experience nonetheless.
<table border="0" align="right" width="170"><tr><td><img src="http://www.wineloverspage.com/graphics1/clos0803.jpg" border="1" align="right"></td></tr></table>Michel Tete 1999 Domaine du Clos du Fief Juliénas "Cuvée Prestige" (Gift)
Very dark reddish-purple, black at the center. Funky, earthy, distinct "barnyard" becomes increasingly evident with time in the glass; there's still some plummy fruit behind it, though; and the flavor - oh, the flavor! Sweet red fruit, clean and appealing, very much like a fine and well preserved older Burgundy. Remarkable. U.S. importer: LDM Wines Inc., NYC; Louis/Dressner Selections. (Aug. 3, 2006)
<B>FOOD MATCH:</b> Worked as well as a Burg - maybe even worked <i>better</i> than the low-end Moillard 2004 Bourgogne "Tradition" reported elsewhere - with wild sockeye salmon.
<B>VALUE:</B> Gift, N/A. Wine-Searcher shows no market for older Clos du Fief; the 2004 and 2005 are listed under $20 at a couple of NYC merchants.
<B>WHEN TO DRINK:</B> Hard to gauge. It's already about as old as the conventional wisdom suggests it should go, and those funky, barnyardy aromas fall apart pretty fast in the glass. But that lovely, old-red sweet fruit just goes on and on and on.
Here's a short fact sheet
on a more recent Clos du Fief from Polaner Selections, an importer.