Coming away from the large Southern Rhone tasting with warm feelings for the 2005 Domaine Sainte Anne Saint Gervais, I couldn't wait to get home and open a bottle of an older vintage, such as the 1999. Have I been waiting too long on these wines?
My first impression told me that might be the case. The 1999 has lost its youthful crimson glow, and the aromas were a bit closed and the flavors a bit muted for a short time after the cork was pulled. The bottle was still a bit cool, though, from its stay in the cellar. Once the wine warmed a bit and swallowed some air, it started showing the deep Mourvedre qualities I love in this wine. Aged Mourvedre has a unique kind of spiciness, and, in this wine, it's tempered by the ripe wild berries of Grenache. The creamy texture that is typical of Domaine Sainte Anne is there on the mid-palate and finish. I love it.
I wouldn't say this 1999 is better than the 2005; the 2005 seems like a special vintage for this cuvee. Neither is going to fade away any time soon, but both are ready for the table.