Browse Tag


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)

Mens’ lawn

Gaillard 2002 Saint-Joseph Blanc (Rhône) – Bitter and woody. Absolutely horrid. Why did I hold something with a synthetic cork for this long? Argh. (9/10)

Gaillard 2002 Saint-Joseph Blanc (Rhône) – Less trashed than the previous bottle (and thankfully, this is my last), but still heavily oxidized due to entirely predictable closure failure. That is, predictable if I’d thought to yank the capsules off and look. But who puts plastic plugs in a wine that should have been able to age? Oh, right: screwcap-fearing French winemakers, that’s who… (10/10)


[vineyard]Gaillard 1999 Côte-Rôtie “Rose Pourpre” (Rhône) – Very aromatic, but it’s not all the violet-infused terroir…it’s the wood, as well, which is still hovering and expansive, though signs of its eventual integration are apparent. Beef-tinged earth does not detract from an overall elegance, but there’s reticence as well, and many veils yet to be penetrated. This has many, many years to go. It’s a modern-inflected wine, for sure, but it’s not wholly New World. Rather, it attempts to straddle the line, and whether or not one responds to it depends, I suppose, on one’s tolerance for wood with syrah. (10/06)