Sunday Tasting Group – Northern Rhone wines

The Bentleigh Tasting Group has reconvened recently, and has also relocated thus necessitating a name-change. It’s been a while since I’ve joined this group of mostly sommeliers, so I’m a bit rusty on my blind tasting. It’s also been even longer since I’ve delved into the Northern Rhone Valley, not really since I was actually there in May of 2012. I found myself thinking back to my visits and tastings, considering the specifics of each appellation. But as always, the notes are from my blind tasting finishing with my guess as to the origin and vintage, and you can see how close I was. Some pretty amazing wines and a really interesting cross-section of styles in this one.

Doing it in style at The Point Albert Park

Doing it in style at The Point Albert Park

Wine One – Domaine Pichat Côte-Rôtie 2010
Initially quite feral, wild and animal, dried herbs and pepper, even some dried caper, very subtle dried black fruits, quite exuberant untamed aromatics. Lithe soft and lightish on the palate, juicy dark fruits with exquisite acidity and biting tannins well-integrated, bold but focused through the mid palate, with nice extension of fruit and acid on the palate, crushed rose petals and blackberries. My guess – Hermitage 2011

Domaine Pichat Côte Rôtie 2010

Domaine Pichat Côte-Rôtie 2010

Wine Two – Bernard Faurie Saint Joseph 2012
Very wet wild mossy earthy notes, dried mushrooms, green peppers, cranberries, a touch dull at the same time, fruit quite shy. Very dense and tight initially, but flesh out a bit more late on the palate, a fair bit of maceration with this one (darker colour), quite youthful and tight, less acidity, more wild savoury notes but just a hint of sweetness, possibly from some oak. My guess – Cornas 2012/2010

Bernard Faurie Saint Joseph 2012

Bernard Faurie Saint Joseph 2012

Wine Three – Domaine Gilles Barge Cuvée du Plessy Côte-Rôtie 2010
Earthy dried meat herbal pepper notes, wild venison, raspberries and elderberries, very aromatic concentrated, feral, rustic nails. Bright tight lithe peppery herbal, crunchy tight lifted, very quincey on the palate, slightly dull but quite old school, again dried roses but sour. My guess – Côte-Rôtie 2010


Domaine Gilles Barge Cuvée du Plessy Côte-Rôtie 2010


Wine Four – Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas 2006
Dense closed earthy dark fruits, minerality present, also closed oak, worked tannins too, very shy muted pepper notes. Fairly bright and juicy on the palate, really tight and intense, prominent youthful tannins, dark fruits nice and broad, sweetness of tannin from some new oak, quite chewy and mouth filling, has potential for some ageing, but also looking a bit like some development softness. My guess – Hermitage 2009


Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas 2006


Wine Five – Rene Rostaing Ampodium Côte-Rôtie 2010
Wild peppery green dried herbal notes, black fruits, sour cherry, floral too, very subtle dried red meats. Tight yet chewy tannins, nice presence, bold lifted and a bit of dark fruit sweetness, good focus and balance, well-integrated tannins, lively acids showing some youth, good balance of fruit and savoury. My guess – Côte-Rôtie 2010

Rene Rostaing Ampodium Côte-Rôtie 2010

Rene Rostaing Ampodium Côte-Rôtie 2010

Wine Six – Domaine Bernard Gripa Saint-Joseph 2012
Very squeaky and a bit stripped of fruit, lifted and intense, muted but present, sweet peppery dark fruits. All in the middle palate, sweet worked dark fruits and oak, well-managed and modern in style, get quality but not my style. Cornas 2009

Domaine Bernard Gripa Saint-Joseph 2012

Domaine Bernard Gripa Saint-Joseph 2012

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