Domaine des Lises Crozes Hermitage 2006

88+ points

Crozes-Hermitage, France. 13%

From Maxime Graillot, son of Alan, famous Crozes-Hermitage producer. This vintage is quite a confronting wine. It’s not green but it reeks of stalky floral flavour. And black pepper.

It’s been near impossible to drink until now when it’s starting to calm down and put on some flesh. I find it hard to believe this wine will ever be more than characterful, but I’m optimistic.

Interesting to give to someone used to warm climate shiraz. I don’t think they would ever guess it is the same grape.

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Roger Sabon Chateauneuf Du-Pape 2006 cuvee prestige

91 points

Southern Rhone, France. 15%

I recall an earlier vintage of this wine, probably 10 years ago at least, as sumptuous and distinctly herby, an exciting luxurious treat. This is different, less opulent.

I’m not a fan of Grenache yet in C-D-P they avoid it getting so fruity, lollylike.

This is savoury, complex, and the alcohol isn’t noticeable. Still young with good acid.

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Roger Sabon Chateauneuf Du-Pape 2006 cuvee prestige

91 points

Southern Rhone, France. 15%

I recall an earlier vintage of this wine, probably 10 years ago at least, as sumptuous and distinctly herby, an exciting luxurious treat. This is different, less opulent.

I’m not a fan of Grenache yet in C-D-P they avoid it getting so fruity, lollylike.

This is savoury, complex, and the alcohol isn’t noticeable. Still young with good acid.

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Alain Verset Cornas 2005

90+ points

Dark, bright, lively Cornas. With some meaty aromas very typical of Cornas But fresher acidity than expected. This has a lot going for it, in an authentic not blockbuster style. Very much a vineyard wine. Leave for another 3 years at least.

First bottle slightly corked – returned to retailer.

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M Chapoutier Le Pavillon Hermitage 1997

88 points

Northern Rhone. 13.5%

Opens quite fresh with obvious (for its age) nice new oak. After some time breathing it reminds me of an old Australian Shiraz – nice leathery, even perhaps a touch of greasepaint?

But not on the palate with is far more tart. It’s a nice complex wine but needs a bit more mid palate density and less tart acidity. Food friendly, as it should be. Drink now and over the next 5 years.