Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Domaine l'Oratoire Saint-Martin Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne Cuvee Prestige, 1998

The "drink up" label I put on this wine in June of last year was apparently premature. At the time, I detected some alcohol showing on the finish, but I don't find anything wrong with this bottle. It has turned yet another corner and is now even more special.

Sediment is forming, but the color is still a good deep ruby with only hints of amber. The bouquet is classic for this wine and its appellation: cherries (dark and red), Provencal herbs, berries and a hint of cinnamon. The wine is showing maturity in the best sense; all of its parts have come together nicely. Crinkly Grenache berries and spice on the long, beautiful finish. Many of the grapes in this cuvee come from 98-year-old vines, and that shows in the wine's personality. It's very, very hard to take the glass from your nose and mouth.

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