2001 Emmanuel Darnaud, Les trois Chene, Crozes-Hermitage (12.75% abv)
This is my 4th bottle in a 6-pack I've been working my way through over the past couple of years and it showed quite differently than the last three. I've previously found this to be unmistakably old-world with rusticity, funk and earthiness in a burly mountain man sort of way. This time the wine showed much softer, with less concentration and rusticity. The smoked bacon, saddle leather and earth are still there but much more restrained. It is like everything was dialed down a notch. Certainly not a bad wine, in fact it was darn nice, but it caught me somewhat off guard. I'm curious whether this wine is starting to decline (Crozes afterall are not noted for being long term agers), or perhaps some bottle variation at work. I have a couple of more in the cellar so I guess I'll find out soon enough.
Priced at ~$25.
For comparison purposes, my notes from July 2006 can be found HERE.
CSW has the 2004 vintage of this and I may seek out a few bottles.
(The front label shows 12.5% abv. while the importers back sticker has the abv. at 13%)