Thursday, June 5, 2008

Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Clos Saint Jean Les Calades, 2000

This has always been one of my least favorite vintages of Les Calades. It has less power than the 1998, less precision than the 2001. For the past year or so, it's also had a stinky element (hydrogen sulfide?) so I've been avoiding it. The 1994 had the same kind of stink at a certain stage but passed through it, and so has this wine.

The color is deep and dark but it lacks the lustrous shine that I would like to see. Les Calades is a blend of Grenache and Syrah, but Syrah seems dominant at this time with dark berries, sweet cherries, herbs and flowers. Donna smells shoe polish, which is also a Syrah trait. Flavors too are pleasant and mature with a smooth mouthfeel.

This wine seems typical of many lesser appellations from the Southern Rhone in 2000. There's a ripeness that makes the wines appealing in youth but not enough acid to keep them interesting as they age. By contrast, wines from 2001 took longer to open up but are now showing beautifully. I have some 2000 Chateauneufs and am wondering if I should begin to look at them for drinking.

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