2003 La Landonne Jean Michel Gerin Côte-Rôtie France. 13% alcohol. Imported by Rare Wine Company Vineburg Ca, $115.
Some days you just can't catch a break. Everything I touched one day last week went wrong -- one step forward, two steps backward. Janet finally called time out -- "Things have to go better tomorrow." [They did.] "Make a pizza, we'll veg out."
The frozen pizza dough thawed beautifully, the mushrooms sauteed heavenly, the five minute tomato sauce was bright and delicious, the mozz was absolutely fresh -- they made too little at the Market Basket and their best mixer brought in a batch still warm and irresistible as I walked in the door. The produce guy had saved me a perfect green pepper -- an essential for a pizza for Janet.
The wine didn't seem so important, and I grabbed a bright looking bottle from a case that had come in from a local retailer a month ago -- bright, happy colors, a Côte du Rhone would cheer us both up -- and certainly enhance the almost perfect pizza. We took a bite of the pizza, loved it, took another bite, and after a bit toasted each other and sipped our wine.
"Holy cow, Bob, what is this?" "I'm not sure, Janet -- a CdR I think -- it's wonderful." "It is -- let's get a case." "OK -- wait -- oh my gosh." "What's wrong?"
I took a closer look at that colorful label.
"A case would break the bank -- this is the wine for the tasting with George in February."
"We needed something to make this day better. This wine is just perfect. We'll get something else for George."
Janet had the perfect answer. And so was the wine. 4*+.
Bob Ross: Deep purple red color, deep hue, complex aroma of mushrooms, berries, chocolate, bacon and other stuff I can't figure out, wonderful tastes of berries, mushrooms, earth, smoke and more, good tannins, a bit hidden by all the other stuff going on, but sure to develop with a bit more time, medium mouth feel, great balance, long finish, a bit single note after all the fireworks in the early and mid going, but exciting and fun and perhaps a bit intimidated by an excellent pizza, perhaps a couple of years too young, but still a wonderful wine.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Jan/Feb 06 Rated: 92(+?). Ruby-red color. Oak-laced redcurrant and cherry aromas, with suggestions of tobacco and dark chocolate. Big, chewy and dense; backward today but shows impressive extract. Finishes with firm acidity and strong tannic spine.
Rare Wine Company: The Northern Rhône enjoyed an historic vintage in 2003, achieving levels of ripeness and concentration that have seldom been seen in this region. But the great quality came at a huge cost: production at most domaines was down an average of 60-70%.
Parker: “A fabulous nose of scorched earth, bacon fat, white flowers and black fruits jumps from the glass ... brawny, dense, very full-bodied, super-concentrated ... almost the essence of the Syrah grape ... a potential legend in the making.”