Friday, December 26, 2008

Marcel Juge Cornas, 1994

The Chateauneuf du Pape I reported on below is a perfect example of a mature Grenache-oriented wine; this Cornas from Marcel Juge is an equally good example of a mature Northern Rhone Syrah from the same vintage.

When the corks were pulled, nearly everyone preferred the Chateauneuf. The Cornas was simply sitting back, breathing in air, and by the time we had finished the Domaine du Haut des Terre Blanches, it was ready to show its best. This wine is not nearly as powerful nor as rustic as some Cornas wines I have had from the early 1980s, but that is intended as a compliment, not a criticism. The Syrah fruit is well defined and at a good state of maturity. After its initial reticence, the nose opens up beautifully with smells of black fruit, pepper, juniper berries and spice. Flavors are even more fully developed--cured meats, smoke, more pepper and juniper berries. Like the Chateauneuf below, this is not a wine that is going to knock your socks off; it's rather a wine that you'll enjoy more with every sip because of its depth and complexity.

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