Tuesday night I attended a sit-down tasting of seven Rhone wines. This was a MeetUp group of fellow wine drinkers. The group met at Sojourn restaurant on the Upper East Side. All of the wines were served blind and we were to vote on our favorite and least favorite wine.
It was a very nice tasting. All of the wines were from the Northern Rhone and six of the seven bottles were vintages from the 1990’s so it was an opportunity to try wines with some bottle age.
My favorite wine of the night and as it turns out, the all-around favorite at the table and the youngest wine at the tasting was the 2006 Franck Balthazar-Cornas Chaillot. I had guessed it as the youngest wine on the table, it had a nose of plums and dirty black cherries with dusty lip smacking fruit and some barnyard on the finish.
My next favorite was the 1998 Domaine du Columbier Hermitage. I thought it had meaty and bacon notes on the fruit with a great grip on the long finish.
Another favorite was the 1999 Auguste Clape Cornas. The brambly nose started out a little closed but began to open up in the glass, with tight dusty velvety fruit and herbs on the finish.
The 1997 Tardieu-Laurent Cornas Cuvee Coteaux had a toasty, dried leaf nose with some good fruit which dropped a bit at the end.
The 1995 Guigal Hermitage had a slightly jammy closed nose with blackberry and plum notes on the finish.
The 1998 Lesec Hemitage Cuvee Emile was the contriversial wine of the night. I thought the wine corked if ever so slighty but I was getting that on the nose as well as on the finish. Some people in the group agreed and some did not. The finish was fairly harsh so I think the wine was on its way out.
The 1997 Rostaing Cote Rotie was another wine that I felt was on the back end of the drinking curve. Nothing enjoyable about this juice.