Monday, November 30, 2020

Domaine du Haut des Terres Blanches Chateauneuf du Pape, 1998

This wine has been a puzzle to me. When I tried it at a big Chateauneuf du Pape tasting soon after its release, it tasted very good, and others at the table agreed. I already had bottles of the 1993 and 1994 vintages in my cellar that were also very good. The price  was low ($13.57) so I bought a case and waited more than a decade before opening the first bottle. It was absolutely horrible, and the next two bottles were only marginally better. This bottle tonight, though, is not going down the sink. It is actually pretty good.

Barely any sediment and a deep color with very little bricking. Much brighter than the color of previous bottles. Black fruit smells; reminds me of a Crozes Hermitage. Now a bit of Grenache berry plus some old oak. Very agreeable on the palate. Ripe fruit but enough acid to keep it from being heavy. With aeration, it develops some interesting twists and turns. Not a great Chateauneuf but a very good Cotes du Rhone Villages. And it's a lot younger than its years. I'm now looking forward to future bottles. 

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