Early this week, an impressive example of top flight Burgundy with J. J. Confuron's 1996 Vosne-Romanee "Les Beaux-Monts", albeit still relatively tightly wound at first with savoury/mocha new oak to the fore. With plenty of time in the glass, glossy, sappy cherry and plum fruit balanced the equation with ridiculously fine but serious tannins and ripe acids in support. Excellent now, most probably, Outstanding+ in 5-10 years. Next cab off the rank was M. Chapoutier's 1992 Hermitage "La Sizeranne", a wine marred by a slight mouldy wet cardboard taint that scalped the fruit on the nose and palate although one could see the promise submerged under the trichlorinasole. Strangely enough, with time, some ripe plum fruit and a savoury meatiness emerged on the palate to raise the bar to about good. Not a bad effort, all things considered.
In deference to my intended AFD's before Decadence II (will report on this in due course) this Saturday night, I was advised, earlier this afternoon, of a substantial number of Sydney "forumites" I'm dining with at the weekend's big event were "out-on-the town" tonight at Tabou Restaurant. "A warm-up, for Saturday night", I was told. Pfffffftttttt!!!! Upstarts! Any excuse for a drink, if you ask me. A stray bottle of Chapoutier's 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape "La Bernadine" had 'drink me' written all over it in my drinkers' box, so it bites the dust tonight. 100% Grenache here off very old vines and 14% A/V. A little diffuse at first, building in intensity and weight with several hours in the Riedel. A very Good to Excellent wine with a touch of "good" brett adding some animale to the soft, lightly spiced, red- and black-cherry fruit. A little smoked meat character, a kiss of savoury oak and a gentle sappiness on a silky palate speaks more Burgundian than C-D-P to me. No red skin lollies, raspberries or roasted almonds to be found here. A "renowned" vintage for this appellation, I'd rather be drinking this relatively mature wine now and over the next few years than in a decade. My only criticism is the waft of alcoholic lift that slightly mars the aromatics of the bouquet.