Sunday, January 9, 2011

Domaine Sainte Anne Cotes du Rhone, 1998

I consider 1998 an outstanding vintage for Southern Rhone wines. Some on wine forums who disagree with me have cited some 1998 Chateauneufs that they feel have gone badly over the hill. I haven't encountered any myself, but I have found several age-worthy 1998 Rhones from much less prestigious appellations, such as this simple Cotes du Rhone from Domaine Sainte Anne, a $6 wine when it came on the market).

The color is a deep, deep crimson with no signs of advancing age. A beautiful bouquet is just now forming with the depth that you might expect from a Chateauneuf du Pape. Deep, deep strawberries and cherries on a layer of garrigue. This wine seems to have more acidity and structure than it had even a couple of years ago. It's lost its baby fat and has matured into a deeper and more complex wine. Reminds me of the 1988 Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf du Pape.

Sainte Anne's CDR Villages, CDR Villages Notre Dame des Cellettes and CDR Villages Saint Gervais are even better, although somewhat less advanced at this point.

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