Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Five Rhones and 1997 Edmunds St. John , 15 September 2008

Five Rhones and 1997 Edmunds St. John , 15 September 2008


As always, I am behind in posting my notes. I am always trolling the various wines stores looking for affordable wines with a bit of age on them. Jenn and I drank the Edmunds and Clermont-Tonnerre on the same night. We preferred the Clermont-Tonnere for its nose and flavors. The Edmunds played its card tight and wasn’t captivating. The Pinede comes across as crooked in personality and while a decent wine to drink, it would be more palatable at a lower price.

We drank the Tardieu-Laurent and the Brusset on the same night. The Brusset ultimately comes across as a better made wine than the T-L but it takes hours for it to come out of its shell. So we drank the T-L first which was more accessible upon opening.

Finally, there is the Aphillanthes. I’m thinking it needs more time, which isn’t a problem, as the 2000 is drinking so well these days.

1997 Edmunds St. John, Parmalee Hill, Syrah, Sonoma County – $35
A light to medium color of garnet and purple. A light nose of blue/purple fruit, perhaps a tad hot, with air a dusty, meatiness develops. In the mouth cool and hard blue fruits. The acidity expands in the mouth with very fine tannins in the finish. On the second day, a spicy/pepper nose developed along with flavors of toasted oak, sage, and black tea. There is no rush to drink this wine.

1998 Louis Clermont-Tonnerre, Chateauneuf du Pape – $20
A light brick color in the glass. A light nose of sweet, round, mature fruit. There is somewhat round, blue fruit that develops into a rustic, gritty, chunky style that is pierced by acidity. The dark fruit finish is somewhat coarse then is followed by a long aftertaste. An absolute deal at $20 and drinking so well right now with some air.

1998 Domaine de la Pinede, Chateauneuf du Pape – $30
A light garnet color that looks old. There is a medium nose of gritty blue fruits and herbs. The mouth follows the nose in that there is a lot of blue fruit and garrigue. The fruit flavors explode then the acidity immediate comes out as the flavors fade and soften. There is a pleasing aftertaste but the nose delivers more than the flavors. Perhaps a bit pricey at $30.

1998 Tardieu-Laurent, Gigondas – $32
A light to medium ruby-garnet with brick rim. A light to medium nose of sweet, ripe fruit, and minerals. In the mouth there are dark blue fruits, perhaps a tad thin and a little hot. This medium bodied wine still has substantial, mouth-puckering tannins. It is more chaotic in that the fruit flavors explode and fill the mouth then quiet down as mineral flavors come out.

1998 Brusset, Les Hauts de Montmirail, Gigondas – $30
A light garnet-brick color. This had a tight nose that was lighter than the Tardieu-Laurent. It is definitely more structured than the flamboyant T-L. In the mouth this medium-bodied wine has dark fruit, minerals, and fair amount of fine, new-oak tannins. There is the impression of more acidity than fruit. After several hours the fruit rounds out and the aftertaste increases in length. It is a modern style of Gigondas.

2001 Aphillanthes, Cuvee Trois Cepages, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $25
A light nose of dark red fruit, spices, and slightly earthy. There are blue fruit flavors, some inky perfume, in a structured package. It has an expanding finish and aftertaste. It leaves a coarse impression that more time might be needed. My recollection is that I prefer the 2000.

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