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Dale Williams

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WTN: Northern Rhones at Racines

by Dale Williams » Tue May 15, 2018 9:53 am

Ramon organized a group for a Northern Rhone dinner at Racines last night. Old friends, a few New Yorkers I hadn’t met before, and even one Rhonehead down from Boston. Fun group, though as usual with a long table most of my interaction was with one side. Some back and forth about what was available a la carte, but I was happy with my duck crisp appetizer morel risotto, and cote de boeuf.

MV Krug Grande Cuvee Lot 164
I was curious to try after all the hype. I’m not the biggest Krug fan but this ‘08 base is touted as atypical. I thought the nose gorgeous and complex, and it seemed more lithe than most Krug. Very good. But I have 2 bottles and couldn’t help thinking I could have bought 2 bottles of Comtes instead and had money left over. B+

NV Benoit Lahaye “Violaine”

A bit stern and austere at first, but I liked a lot more on revisit. Green apple and citrus, bright, low dosage. B+

The reds

1983 Jaboulet “Thalabert” Crozes-Hermitage
This smelled good when double-decanted about 3 (tons of fine sediment), but I was a little worried at first pour, there seemed to be a slight stewed note. But it blows off leaving a nice wine. Good acid backbone, with a lot of those Thalabert meaty/mushroom notes. B+

1991 Ogier Cote-Rotie
Exotic nose , with spice and black olives. Mid-bodied, tannins mostly resolved, spicy red fruit. Elegant A-/B+

1999 Gallet Cote-Rotie
Not really a producer I’ve had experience with. A little more rustic, hint of barnyard, but nice solid core. Fun. B+/B

1996 Jamet Cote-Rotie
The two Jamets showed very similar, very classic profiles. Lots of bacon, olive, herb. The ‘96 was maybe a touch lighter and higher acid, but only by a hair B+.A-
1998 Jamet Cote-Rotie
A tiny bit fuller, hint of merde, can’t say I liked one better than other. B+/A-

1998 Clape Cornas
Firm, full, dark berries, muscular style. B+

1999 Noel Verset Cornas
Olives and meat, lots of structure, dynamite but could use time. A-/B+

2000 Noel Verset Cornas
Seamless, just in a perfect place, elegant and classic,. A-

1998 Allemand “Reynard” Cornas

Big,meaty, a bit tight. B+

This is as far as I got on notes last night. The final flight was 1994 Chave Hermitage, 1995 Chave Hermitage, and 1998 Chave Hermitage. All showed beautifully, with the 95 challenging the 00 Verset for my wine of the night. From memory ‘94 A-/B+, 95 A-, 98 B+.

Quite the night. Not a single wine that I wouldn't have happily drunk any meal. Nice group, good time.

(edited to add food)
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
Last edited by Dale Williams on Wed May 16, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Northern Rhones at Racines

by David M. Bueker » Tue May 15, 2018 10:51 am

I love the Krug 164. Of course I am a Krug fan. I love Comtes too, but not as much as Krug.
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Patchen Markell

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Re: WTN: Northern Rhones at Racines

by Patchen Markell » Tue May 15, 2018 11:40 am

Wow, for once I actually have a couple of these bottles, so I'm glad to have these notes. Sounds like a great night -- thanks!
cheers, Patchen
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ChaimShraga

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Re: WTN: Northern Rhones at Racines

by ChaimShraga » Wed May 16, 2018 10:27 am

A 35 year old Crozes? Really?
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN: Northern Rhones at Racines

by Dale Williams » Wed May 16, 2018 11:13 am

ChaimShraga wrote:A 35 year old Crozes? Really?


Yeah, you know it wasn't as good as the 39 yr old Crozes ('78 Thalabert) last year. :)
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=59806&p=462832&hilit=thalabert#p462832

The old Thalaberts (1990 and earlier) were often referred to the "Baby La Chapelle" for good reason. Maybe not as complex as a good Hermitage, but pretty close as far as structure. I've not found the same character in more recent ones. I think Graillot is probably best Crozes I've had over last 15+ years, but don't think they age same way.
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN: Northern Rhones at Racines

by Rahsaan » Wed May 16, 2018 11:25 am

Nice lineup. I haven't had Verset in ages but the memories are fond!

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