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Rhône: Guigal, Chave, Jaboulet-Aine, Beaucastel, Clos des Papes…

March 25, 2020

The Jürade de Saint-Emilion du Singapour met on 05 March 2020 at Rhubarb for an evening of Rhône. All the wines were showing very well though what came across clearly was that Rhône really needs plenty of bottle age, much like Bordeaux, in order to be at its best, preferably approaching thirty years as one may appreciate from the notes below. My thanks to all concerned for the generous contributions.

20200305_202601.jpgChampagne Delamotte NV. Clear bright minerals with good concentration of crisp clear citrus and traces of green fruits, displaying fine transparency. Not too dry.

1996 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Chevalier de Sterimberg. Aged tone and colour. Heavier bouquet of mature creme and caramelised baked apples. Smooth and rounded, rather full. Still imbued with good acidity and concentration, developing a greater expanse of white tones over time with very fine intensity, finishing with lingering persistence and kinearity. Severely under-appreciated, this is one of my favourite Rhône whites.

2007 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. Luminous in color, proffering musky aromas tinged with diesel exhaust and peat. Very good fullness, depth and layering on the palate, fleshing out over time with excellent freshness amid predominant white tones that exude a controlled poised elegance. Excellent.

2001 E Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto, courtesy of Stephen. Dull golden with a weighty effusive glow of mature creme and apples. Considerably lighter on the palate, marked by refined acidity amid traces of glycerin, superbly balanced, evolving with greater weight and power with a dominant plummy tone. Good finish. Excellent.

2005 E Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto, courtesy of Sandy. Dull golden, exuding a controlled glow of white fruits. Medium-bodied. Very smooth on the palate, seemingly more delicate in feel though undoubtedly deeper than the 2001, laced with darkish undertones amid oily textures. Quiet finish. Yet to peak.

2006 Clos Saint-Jean Deus-Ex Machina Châteauneuf-du-Pape, courtesy of Marc. Impenetrably dark with consistent powerful tones of dominant dark plums, currants, dark cherries and tangerines on the nose and palate. Darkly concentrated with focused intensity, structured with sweet tannins oozing with medicinal traces, culminating in a tensile finish. Strictly for afficionados of CdP.

20200305_233116.jpg2001 Château de Beaucastel Hommage à Jacques Perrin, courtesy of Russ. Very deep garnet red. Superb freshness of red and dark currants that exude youthful intensity with a very gentle perfumed floral fragrance, displaying wonderful suppleness and open intensity with further notes of early cedar and tobacco. Superb.

2000 E Guigal Château D’Ampuis. Deep crimson with some evolution. Predominance of delicious red fruits that display lovely ripeness, very open with great agility, revealing very fine ferric traces tinged with capsicum, finishing with great acidity and linearity. Distinctly feminine.

1990 E Guigal Hermitage. Mature brownish red with an effusive complex of earthy pungency, Chinese herbs and mushrooms. Medium-bodied. Beautifully open with silky smooth tannins that exude great sophistication and elegance with velvety ripe fruit caught at its optimum. Distinctly feminine. Most lovely.

1995 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage. Evolved brownish red, exuding gentle rosy hues with a lovely lift. Wonderfully supple and fleshy, laced with superb acidity that confer great excitement, yet highly harmonious and elegant at the same time. Simply glorious.

1995 Château de Fonsalette. Very deep opaque red. Chinese herbs and dried mushrooms dominate on the nose, a perfect counterfoil to the broad expanse of red fruits luxuriously laid on velvety bed of svelte tannins, open with lovely intensity, going on to develop dominant tones of plummy tangerines before finishing with a dry sappy mouthfeel. Superb though not really surprising, for this estate belongs to the stable of Château Rayas.

1997 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Hermitage La Chapelle. Dark vermilion. Medicinal characters dominate, underscored by red fruits and dark currants. Rather full and fleshy, open with very fine acidity and intensity, developing a little more of licorice and herbal tones over time. Still quite youthful.

1995 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Hermitage La Chapelle. Deep garnet core with some vermilion, seducing the senses with an excellent lift of red fruits and currants that teased the palate in equal measure with wonderful agility and impeccable balance amid further overtones of tobacco. Superbly harmonious.

1991 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, courtesy of Sandy. Deep garnet core with some vermilion, exuding a lovely complex of dark fruits, raspberries, mulberries and currants that extended well onto the open palate with lithe youthful intensity, revealing very fine detail and layering. Very fleshy, finishing with great persistence. Superb.

2006 E Guigal Cote-Rôtie La Landonne, courtesy of Chancellor Melvin. Very deep crimson, displaying a smoky lift that added a further dimension to the superb ripeness of raspberries and dark fruits, exerting excellent tensile mouthfeel with lovely open intensity and proportion. Excellent.

2007 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise Le Chant des Griolles. Pale. Rather effusive and forward with an enticing sweetness, almost bold, displaying very good intensity though underscored by a deep ferrous streak that imparted almost too much of sternness on the palate.

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