Saturday, April 28, 2012

Domaine Sainte Anne Cotes du Rhone, 1998

I'm sure I am one of a very small number of persons still drinking this 14-year-old Cotes du Rhone. And that's a shame. It's only recently shed its blueberries and cream personality and is now beginning to take on more complex secondary and tertiary characteristics. All of these are fruit-oriented because the wine was produced in a reductive environment of stainless steel and cement tanks--no oak. It has thrown some sediment, but, even on the third night after it was opened, there is no oxidation and the tannins are still lively.

Bright crimson, no sign of bricking. Red cherries and raspberries are dominant in the aromas and flavors at this stage. The tartness of cherries and the sweetness of red raspberries. More acidity is showing than in past bottles, and, for me, that's a plus, because the wine's big fruit presence was a bit ripe previously. Age has brought on a spicy quality that reminds me of Mourvedre but apparently is Cinsault. The cuvee is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Cinsault.


  1. I have tastet only recent vintages of this Cotes du Rhone ... I really Love it! Very elegant Saint Gervais.

  2. Oh, I love the wine when it's young too--all the cuvees. And the CDR Villages Saint Gervais is my favorite. The Saint Gervais probably benefits the most from age but all keep very well.

  3. These wines will keep- and evolve- in a cool cellar for a very long time: the original cuvee that became the base of the St, Gervais- a 1979- is still more than drinkable; so are wines from the 1980s and early 1990s. With age, they develop Chateauneuf-like aromas of leather etc. in a smaller but perfectly balanced frame.

  4. Thanks for the confirmation, Stephen. I bought a decent quantity of each cuvee (CDR, CDR Villages, Notre Dame des Cellettes and Saint Gervais) of Domaine Sainte Anne in every good vintage from 1998 through 2007. Sometimes I wonder: what if I'm wrong and I end up with a cellar full of vinegar? So far, I'm laughing.

    Are you the Stephen Grant who was (is?) involved in wine importing in Michigan? If so, I owe you a great deal of gratitude and respect. I buy much of my wine from Village Corner in Ann Arbor and at one time in the 1990s, I discovered that nearly every wine I was buying was a Stephen Grant selection. Domaine Sainte Anne was one of those selections, I believe, along with Deux Roche, Henri Pelle, etc.