Browse Tag


Ussegliold goose

Pierre Usseglio 2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhône) – Aging in a clingy, somewhat sloppy fashion, not bringing much of tertiary interest to replace a fading fruit goopfest. It’s good, but it’s decidedly not very good. Dark berries, soil, black pepper, and simplicity from start to finish. On the positive side of “eh,” but still “eh.” (2/11)

Meaty, beaty, big, Joncier

Roussel “Domaine du Joncier” 2000 Lirac (Rhône) – A few years past its prime, I think. Starts out somewhat oxidized and difficult, then adds (very gradually) some blueberry and meat qualities, though both are goopy and texturally pasty. But everything this wine has to offer is in the middle…in the front and back, it’s eroded and filed-down. Drink by 2008. (2/11)

Gramenon, holdenon

Gramenon 2009 Côtes-du-Rhône “l’Élémentaire de Gramenon” (Rhône) – Firm tannin leftover from creating the leather sofa on which this wine lounges. Blackberry fruit-leather as well, plus an herbal stew. This tastes as much like a chinato as it does a Côtes-du-Rhône, and that’s an interesting conflation of styles. Challenging. (11/10)

Shy oatmeal

Allemand 1999 Cornas Chaillots (Rhône) – Still sorting itself out, but the folders are starting to populate. In one, there’s an herb-infused slow-cooked meat, still enveloped in a certain mystery. In another, something very floral and even a little aggressively aromatic. In a third, rocks piled upon rocks. This is still headed somewhere, and though it’s quite approachable now I think there’s more to see before it decides to stop for a rest and an idealized drinking experience. (11/10)

Let’s go, man

Allemand 1995 Cornas Reynard (Rhône) – Hey Zeus, this is good. Entering a bit of a soy phase, but it’s soy-soaked springbok jerky, very saline and entirely meaty. There’s salty brown minerality, too. Herbs, sometimes (though not always) found in older Cornas? Not so much, but in their place is a sort of lurid necro-floral aroma that’s really much better than that descriptor makes it sound. Balanced, still muscled despite much maturation, and really beautiful…if you’re a carnivore, that is. (11/10)

Andrew Jackson

Texier 1999 Hermitage (Rhône) – Cellared since release. Packed up in a hand-constructed individual stryo sleeve. Stuffed into a bag and checked, paying the airline’s asinine baggage fee to do so despite not otherwise needing to check a bag. Collected at baggage claim after much foot-tapping delay. Unwrapped and rested, upright, in the hotel room to let the sediment settle. Transported, with care to avoid further sedimentary disturbance, to a restaurant. And – wine people can see the inevitable conclusion coming a mile away – corked. (11/10)


Texier 2005 Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages St-Gervais “Vieilles Vignes des Cadinières” (Rhône) – Above all the detail is an incredible complexity, not often found even in the more interesting of the Villages-designates. The detail? Fine-particulate minerality, full of graphite and ground porcini, with the herbal-bubblicious berry of the region, swirling berries giving more of their skins than their flesh, and an atmospheric uniformity of molecules. A fascinating wine, with an undoubtedly fascinating future. (12/10)

Olivet Oyl

Clos du Mont-Olivet 2007 Côtes-du-Rhône Montueil-la-Levade (Rhône) – Is there a hefty mourvèdre component here? (I suppose I could just check the web, but it’s more fun guessing.) The delicious, sweaty meativore component is just too evocative, no matter the source. This tastes far more mature than its vintage would indicate, but it’s still so structured and masculine that I think more age wouldn’t hurt. On the other hand, why wait. It’s absolutely compelling now. (11/10)


Boiron “Bosquet des Papes” 1999 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhône) – I expected this to be considerably more advanced than it is, but frankly it’s showing in such a way that if this were from my stash (it’s from the wine list at Hearth in Manhattan), I’d hold the rest for another five years at minimum before I even considered opening another bottle. Dark earth, rosemary, morel, a bit of blackberryish meatfruit, pepper, and then there’s that black licorice/green olive element. Still highly structured. Very, very puzzling. (11/10)