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Northern Rhône 2001

A fairly broad selection of Northern Rhônes from Bibendum Wine, almost all of which are from the 2001 vintage. While I wouldn’t want to commit myself on this tasting, I’d say that the 2001s are a little better than the disappointing 2000s, but some way off the quality of the 1999s. Hermitage seems to have done considerably better in 2001 than 2000, when it was frankly poor. As an aside, I’d say that it simply isn’t realistic to expect a wine merchant with wines to sell of a particular vintage to give you a fully accurate assessment of that vintage, unless they are exceptionally honest and you have a very good relationship with them. Credit to Bibendum for giving their customers a chance to taste before they buy, which I would say is close to a necessity in areas with large vintage variation such as the Rhône and Burgundy.

What did I buy? Well, I’ve overbought recently, and so I restricted myself to just a case of the Gilles Barge St Joseph. I was very tempted by the Cuvée Gaby Crozes Hermitage, and the Amarybelle from Yves Cuilleron, but I resisted. Thierry Allemand is a favourite of mine, but these wines are getting quite expensive these days. Pass.

Prices given here are the anticipated final price per bottle, including VAT and duty.

Robert Niero Condrieu Les Ravines 2001
Quite firm peachy fruit here, with a slightly spicy edge. An understated style. Very good+ (£19)

Robert Niero Côte Rôtie 2001
Slightly spicy edge to the otherwise muted nose, which displays pure raspberry fruit. Firm, spicy palate with nice density and some elegance. A modern style which perhaps lacks a bit of excitement. Very good+ (£19)

JP et JL Jamet Côte Rôtie 2001
Perfumed, ripe nose with some spicy notes. The palate is dense and spicy with a lovely meaty edge. Savoury and rich, perhaps a tiny bit oaky at the moment. A lovely wine: not stellar, but nice, but a relative disappointment considering the producer. Very good/excellent (estimated £25-£28)

Thierry Allemand Cornas Les Chaillots 2001
Firm, tight savoury spicy nose with a bit of meatiness. Concentrated, firm, expressive palate is very savoury and intense with firm tannins. A bold style with lots of potential. Very good/excellent  (£23.89)

Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard 2001
Firm, expressive savoury spicy nose: very rich and intense. High acidity on the intense palate with is tannic, firm and spicy. Wonderfully intense stuff with great potential. Very good/excellent (£28.79)

Rene Rostaing Condrieu La Bonette 2001
Lovely intense peachy, herby nose leads to an appealing, intense palate. Good balance here with lovely expressive fruit. Very good/excellent (£24.87)

Rene Rostaing Côte Rôtie Cuvée Classique 2001
Firm, structured spicy wine with good density. Rich and quite ripe with nice structure and good acidity. Very good+ (£25.85)

Gilles Barge St Joseph Clos des Martinets 2001
Distinctive meaty, rubbery expressive nose with some green olive notes. The palate is firm, structured and spicy with lots of meaty fruit. Lovely wine. Very good/excellent (£9.99)

Gilles Barge Côte Rôtie Cuvée Duplessy 2001
Expressive savoury, spicy nose. The palate is dense and firm with appealing spicy fruit and firm tannins. Good potential here. Very good/excellent (£19.98)

Jean-Louis Chave St Joseph Offerus 2001
Firm and spicy with good acidity. Quite structured with some meatiness. An attractive wine. Very good+ (£12.14)

Yves Cuilleron St Joseph L’Amarybelle Vieilles Vignes 2001
Quite an expressive meaty, spicy nose. Pure raspberry fruit and spicy oak dominate the palate, which is midweight with good acidity and some spicy tannins. Tasty stuff. Very good/excellent (£13.12)

Yves Cuilleron St Joseph Les Serines 2001
Lovely perfumed wine with pure raspberry fruit, some meaty, spicy complexity and good acidity. Slightly woody at the moment but with lots of typicity and quite a bit of elegance. Very good/excellent (£19)

Yves Cuilleron Côte Rôtie Terres Sombres 2001
Lovely expressive nose which is herby and spicy with some roast coffee notes. Firm, spicy palate which is quite woody but with lots of character and high acidity. Good typicity. Very good/excellent (£28.79)

Chapoutier Côte Rôtie Les Becasses 2000
Were going back a year here, to 2000. Spicy, toasty raspberry fruit on the nose. Midweight spicy palate is elegant but light and quite woody. Very good+ (£26.83)

Chapoutier Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne 2000
Very disappointing for the price. Tastes like a £6 Côtes du Rhône, with spicy raspberry fruit on the nose and a light, spicy palate. Not a bad wine, but you’d expect more from this spectacular terroir. 2000 really was a rotten year for Hermitage. Very good (£33.65)

Domaine de Colombier Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Gaby 2001
Nice density of spicy fruit with some noticeable new oak. Good structure with a touch of meatiness, this is very well made even if its not quite up to the standard of the brilliant 1999. Very good/excellent (£10.18)

Domaine de Colombier Hermitage 2001
Lovely vivid, perfumed nose, rich and meaty. Structured savoury, spicy palate. Good typicity despite the enthusiastic oaking. Very good/excellent (£24.87)

Domaine des Remezières Crozes Hermitage Cuvée Christophe 2001
Ripe, rich spicy nose with a slightly roasted edge. The palate is spicy and rich with quite a bit of spicy oak. Tasty in a ‘new world’ style. Very good+ (£12.93)

Domaine des Remezières Hermitage Cuvée Emilie 2001
Rich, ripe, spicy toasted rounded nose. The palate is forward and rich with chocolatey fruit, high acidity and firm tannins. Too oaky and overdone for me. Very good (£24.87)  

wines tasted March 2003

see also Rhone 2001 from OW Loeb

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