Sunday, March 31, 2013

Paul Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert, 1990

This was my wine of choice for my 74th birthday, and a good choice it was. I've always been a big fan of Domaine Thalabert, particularly those from the 1980s. Critics tagged this as perhaps the best Thalabert ever, with the possible exception of the 1978, and online reviews on Cellar Tracker rate it very highly for current drinking. I can't disagree.

Deep ruby red. The bouquet is absolutely gorgeous. Black raspberries, lavender, sage. Has the fresh fruit smell of youth but with a leathery maturity emerging. Same on the palate. Very smooth texture with a lovely Syrah finish. Has the power of a good Cornas plus the finesse of a Cote Rotie. 12.7% alcohol is amazingly low for a wine with this much dramatic flair.

I agree that it's probably the best Thalabert ever made (I didn't get to taste the 1978), and it is one of the best Syrahs I've encountered. The wonderful secondary characteristics that I love so much in the 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1988 Thalaberts have not yet emerged; so, as good as it is now, it will get even better, at least for my taste.

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