Saturday, March 13, 2010

Domaine de la Tourade Gigondas, 1998

Having compared the Hewitson Miss Harry GSM (below) to a good Gigondas, I had to open a Gigondas to make a direct comparison. As this point in time, the Gigondas is a clear winner, perhaps because of the additional nine years it has had in the bottle.

The color is a similar deep crimson, but with considerable amber around the rim. One sniff confirms that this wine is mature (and I suspect that some tasters would consider it too mature). Enough oxidation has taken place to open up the warm, sweet tones of old vines/low yield Grenache. I smell dried more than fresh berries and flowers, but these scents are deep and compact rather than thin and fading, as in a lesser wine. On the palate, there is warmth, but again the alcohol is carried so beautifully by the deep layers of Grenache fruit. Sweet, warm, complex, concentrated--it brings back memories of what Southern Rhones tasted like in the 1980s. The garrigue that dominated this wine when I reviewed it in April of 2009 is pretty much gone, replaced by a lovely degree of maturity. It's time to drink this wine, but I suspect it will remain at this plateau for several years. If I thought the Hewitson Miss Harry GSM would be this beautiful at 12 years of age, I would load up the truck.

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