Rocky 99

Gaillard 1999 Saint-Joseph “Les Pierres” (Rhône) – Straight from the domaine, and thus the French (rather than the NBI) bottling, which usually means less new oak. As massive as it was the day it was born, layered with mille-feuille tannin, dried peppercorns, lead, and lead-infused dried black fruit paste. There’s only the barest hint of maturity in a bit of browning herbality that malingers out back, but for all the primary fruit and wholly unresolved structure I just don’t know how much longer this should be held. I mean, nothing’s yet mature, but the balance of fruit to structure is now heavily weighted in favor of the latter, and coupled with the oak treatment – quite manageable here, but hardly absent – what I taste and what I predict based on experience are in conflict; going on pure taste, this has another decade or more to go, but based on good sense and experience it’s only going to get tougher. Someone who owns a bottle will have to settle the debate one of these days, because this was my last one. (12/11)


  • David B

    January 10, 2012

    Any chance that there are tertiary elements waiting to come out and play in a couple more years? Certainly if the maturity of the fruit is ahead of the maturity of the tannin then drink (relatively) soon is the right choice. I keep waiting to be truly impressed by a 1999 Northern Rhone. Hasn’t happened yet.

    On a formatting note – any way to get the wine names in bold type on the front page? They blend into the note text. Otherwise a really nice move to the new site.

  • thor iverson

    January 10, 2012

    Chance, sure. More than a chance. If I didn’t know how this was made, I’d let it age. It’s the knowledge of oak-based structure that stays my hand.

    As for the formatting: no. It’s the template. Same with paragraph breaks. I mean, I could start noodling with it, but I’m wary of certain meddlings. I’ve already screwed with the code a lot. But I’ll experiment at some point; there are more crucial things (getting the actual structure of the page squared away, categorizing everything correctly, a new header graphic) in line before futzing with the style sheets.


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