Sunday, December 28, 2014

Paul Jaboulet Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, 1985

Same grape, same year as the Langi Shiraz below. And an equally fantastic wine.

The color is almost identical to the Langi Shiraz, but the bouquet is much more forthcoming and dramatic. Black fruits, cassis, olives and juniper berries. Again, the fruit is so lively and fresh that it is hard to believe these wines are 29 years old. The 1985 Delas Hermitage (from Christmas day) is a beautiful wine but smells and tastes at least 10 to 15 years older. The Thalabert is definitely more acidic than the Langi Shiraz, and that trait is probably a factor in determining preferences at the table.

I am a long-time fan of Domaine Thalabert--bought at least a case every year from 1979 through 1990. (The quality started falling off in the mid-1990s, though, and the wine is no longer on my shopping list.) At one time, I believed Robert Parker's views that this wine, like others from Crozes-Hermitage, were for drinking at six to eight years of age. Fortunately, I bought enough to be able to experience the transformation from good to very good to excellent...and beyond.

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