Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg 1998

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In a Northern Rhone blind tasting, there were two guys contributing two bottles of red burgundies, which was a great idea as N. Rhone wines eventually morphed into burgundy alike character. Even though I managed to fish out the two burgundies, I didn’t expect this to be a DRC!

Very muted nose, too shut and slight barnyard. Palate was extremely sour, although quite powerful, very over the hill color and taste, green notes and tobacco leaves. However 6 hours later, it drank like a matured burg.

E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline 1999

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It was one of the highly decorated and highly sort after wine. Parker rated it 100 points. Sadly, I screamed swimming pool chlorine on my first nose of the glass, obviously it was corked.

Thus, all notes were irrelevant for now although it did recover after a couple of hours later. Initially very sour, even though it was still drinking ok. I left it in the glass to observe, surprisingly strong oaks showed up, great oak palate. Thereafter I learned that La Moulin was aged in the oak for 42 mths.

E. Guigal Château d’Ampuis Côte-Rôtie 1999

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I hardly have a chance to taste this Ch Ampius Cote Rotie Rhone wine, but I must confess I liked it a lot more than other lineups tonight.

Nose was quite creamy and mixed with Syrah grape, nothing really spectacular. But the beauty was on the palate; moderately rich, very chewy fruits, you can tell that it’s a good quality fruits, great length, great drinking window and balanced ripeness. The taste was not confined but rather it was quite spread out. Hope to drink more of these gems!

Pascal Bouley Volnay 1er Cru Les Grands Champs Monopole 2014

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It was a monopole wine from Pascal Bouley, one of the better producers from Volnay. I looked at the vintage, too young for sure, immediately poured the whole bottle into a decanter.

Nose was so seductive it was silky and floral fragrance, I was hooked to the nose. The decanting helped open the fragrance as well, slowly about an hour it smelled more matured and ripe.

Palate was balanced, albeit slightly acidic initially, again the decanting helped smooth it out and turned matured & elegant.

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2000

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Served blind, a whiff and I was taken aback with the nose; was it oxidized? Nope, it was the character of the Northern Rhone white! So, if you ever come across a blind test, you’ll have to ask yourself is this Northern Rhone white?

Meanwhile, Northern Rhone whites are usually oily, wax, big, broad and more density/weight in character. These significant characters will help you an extra mile in your drinking experience. Good luck!

Jamet Côte-Rôtie Preference 1999

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In a blind tasting of Northern Rhone versus burgundies, I was able to pick up and differentiate the burgundies away from Rhone wines. However, this one was underwhelming today.

Fantastic nose, nice elegant tobacco leaves, as well as smelling like concentrated grapes.

However I was not pleased with the palate, as I found it a bit flat and not very expressive, tasted slightly like a cough syrup.

Obviously was shocked to see the label when revealed! Jamet was a great producer!

Francois Villard Condrieu DePoncins 2009

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Rare subject title, but that was the fragrance of this wine on the nose, along with slight orange, and obvious lychee and tropical fruits.

I enjoyed the wine as I loved fruity wines. It had the broad, richness and fruitiness and obvious tropical fruits that made the wine really fun and enjoyable.

It was served blind again but this time I was totally clueless where it came from. On a desperate blurt, I thought it came from Alsace! Obviously I have to drink much more Rhone whites to brush up!

Domaine d’Auvenay Meursault Les Narvaux 2002

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Not often you get to be tested for such a label! I was served a blind glass after the Dom 90, initially a bit clueless.

Strong hazelnut skin dominated the nose. Initially the acidity was low, content was ripe and forward. Based on these facts I boldly declared it as 2002.

As the night wore off, I realized the wine’s acidity kept getting elevated, the taste sharper, and content got skinnier. At this point I was persuaded it was a village level from d’Auvenay. Another spot on answer tonight!

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