When Rhone wine writer and expert John Livingstone-Learmouth (DrinkRhone.com) tasted the 1983 Thalabert in September of 2005, he reckoned that the wine was nearing the end of its best drinking days. "Drink soon--maybe one last hearty game stew." When he had the wine again 11 years later, he wrote: "Show what I know!...A lovely wine, much appreciated. The length is good and fresh. Outstanding for its age." And he extended the prime drinking window to 2022-2023!
Nothing new here. Domaine Thalabert has a staying power that has confounded most wine critics--most notably Robert Parker who advised drinking the 1983 25 to 30 years ago. I have been buying, cellaring, drinking and enjoying Thalabert since the 1979 vintage and even off vintages such as 1984 have continued to go and grow far beyond the expectation of most critics and drinkers. This 1983 is my favorite (probably even surpassing the 1990) and I was happy to share it with my son, Ted, who was born in 1983 and has aged every bit as well.
The color has lightened but still has good life. Intense bouquet of cherries, flowers, currants, cured meats and a hint of black olives. Incredible depth and concentration; keeps me coming back for sniff after sniff. On the palate, there is no disappointment. Deep, concentrated, intense but with an elegant silky texture. Northern Rhone Syrah at its best.