The sultan of Vernay

D&R (GAEC) Vernay 1998 Côte-Rôtie (Rhône) – Feral and yet weirdly elegant, like some jungle primitive dressed up in a tuxedo and somehow making it work. Except the tux is made of meat. And I guess a from-left-field elegance isn’t all that unusual for a Côte-Rôtie. The “fruit” (the scare quotes are always necessary in this appellation) is a dark and dried berry residue stomped by herds of somewhat leaky cattle, violets in the barnyard, and some leather as well. It’s a little chunky and obvious, but it is full of typicity, and that’s not someone one can always say about wines from here. (8/07)

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