Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Domaine du Haut des Terres Blanches Chateauneuf du Pape, 1998

Tasting this wine side by side with the excellent 1989 Lucien Barrot, I was impressed by the similarity of the two wines. They do indeed have much in common: 1) they are both relatively unknown, even by those who have a special attraction for Chateauneuf du Pape; 2) they are, as a result, relatively inexpensive; 3) they are both excellent examples of traditional Chateauneuf du Pape, and 4) they both age surprisingly well. Knowing that the 1993 and 1994 were showing well, I was disappointed by bottles of 1998 Domaine du Haut des Terres that I opened too early. Even at 12 to 15 years of age, the wine was showing very little, and I assumed that it was seriously flawed. With this bottle, I realized that was I was way too impatient; at 21 years of age, the wine is just coming into its own.

Medium deep crimson with bricking at the edges. Healthy looking color. Savory scents of strawberries, cherries, dried flowers. Perhaps not as complex as the bouquet of the 1989 Lucien Barrot; but then this wine is nine years younger. Much of the same on the palate: dried and fresh berries, fresh acidity. Not as finely textured as the Lucien Barrot and slightly higher in alcohol (14% vs 13.5%). Otherwise, they are similar wines. I had the Terres Blanches one night with rack of lamb and the next night with grilled salmon. It worked well with both dishes. 

If you have some bottles of this wine, forget the negative reviews you have seen on Cellar Tracker and on this blog. Open at your leisure and enjoy.

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