Four bottles with a touch of age
We spent much of our spare time in November painting our living and dining rooms in anticipation of hosting our first Thanksgiving dinner at the house. It is impossible to not be excited about the holiday so while mature wine was generally required, I did not want to drink anything precious. The best of the bottles we tried is clearly the 1999 Gourt de Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau. Some four years ago I guessed it would start drinking well this year and it is! This is always an expensive wine for the appellation, current vintages run over $60 per bottle in the States, but it repays with cellaring. Right now this savory wine shows dark fruit integrated with gorgeous structure. If the evolution of our bottle is any indicator this vintage will continue to develop with even more age. Also from Rasteau, the 2000 Domaine du Trapadis, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau has aromas of roast earth which indicate to me that it is on the decline. Unfortunately, this bottle remained firm rather than open but was still pleasing enough to drink on its own. The final bottle of 1985 Quail Ridge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley came from the Earthquake Cellar which explains the wine stained label. This small wine proved fully mature without evidence of decline. I appreciated the old wood and leather which come with age.
2008 Domaine Humbert Freres, Bourgogne
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 12.5%. The nose was quite attractive, fully mature but not gone. There were similar flavors initially in the mouth before the overwhelmingly tart red fruit came out. Some pleasure could be derived but I imagine this must be drunk with food in the mouth. * Now.
2000 Domaine du Trapadis, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 13%. The nose revealed clean, mature fruit which competed with roast earth aromas. In the mouth this wine was still firm with red and black fruit. The structure was still present in the minerally, roast flavored finish. With air the flavors took on some weight with cherry liquor notes before shedding intensity in the finish. Will last but will always be firm. ** Now – 2020+.
1999 Gourt de Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau
Imported by Dionysos Imports. Alcohol 14%. This weighty wine builds power simultaneously with the developing ripe and grippy tannins. The menthol-like freshness persisted as does the watery acidity and bit of heat that breaks out in the end. The fruit is primarily dark but aspects of raspberry candy come out, all of which match the strength of the structure that coats the gums and teeth. With extended air, this savory wine takes on sweeter, blueberry fruit with both density and texture. ***(*) Now – 2025.
1985 Quail Ridge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Alcohol 13.3%. The roasted earth aromas hint at a wine beginning to decline. The mouth was better with some thickness to start. The flavors mixed with old wood box, old perfume, and a hint of eucalyptus and old leather in the finish. The tart cherry fruit matches the integrated acidity, very much present from the start. With air the wine fleshes out some. ** Now.