Friday, September 9, 2016

Domaine Rabasse Charavin Corinne Couturier Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne Cuvee Estevenas, 1999

This 1999 Cairanne was my Wine of the Year for both 2013 and 2014. It's been almost two years since I opened the last bottle, and I may have waited a bit long. At age 17, it has a right to slip a bit, but it's still a special wine, every bit as good, in my opinion, as a top Chateauneuf du Pape. It's 80% Grenache from vineyards 80 to 100 years old and 20% Syrah from slightly younger vines--all south facing.

The color has lightened but still looks healthy for a Cotes du Rhone Villages of this age and vintage. The bouquet is fantastic--leather, dried cherries, flowers and a pleasant hint of barnyard. Reminds me of a mature Vieux Telegraphe. Grenache berry, mature and crinkled on the palate. Lots of haunting old vine qualities. I detect some slight volatility on the finish that wasn't there in January of 2013 and October of 2014. But it's still a very fine wine.

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