Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Paul Jaboulet Crozes-Hermitage Domaine Thalabert, 1983

Crozes-Hermitage wines come from vineyards "in the vicinity" of the Hermitage hill. Most of these vineyards are on flat land, and the wines are often pretty ordinary--not worth keeping for 35 years. Jaboulet's Domaine Thalabert is a notable exception. In the 1980s, when the wine sold for about $8 a bottle, I bought at least a case every year and put several bottles from the best vintages in the cellar. Today, I am very happy that I did so. This 1983, a birth year for my son, may be the best I have had, and it is showing beautifully right now.

Bright ruby red, with only minimal amber tones. Needs about two hours of aeration to show its best but then the hallmark scents of Thalabert come through with clarity. Black raspberries, cassis, black olives. I love the black olive scents, and in this vintage, they are present but not overwhelming. From the tip of the tongue to the mid-palate, the flavors are notably concentrated. Black fruits, spice, pepper. Depth and complexity that continue through a long finish.

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