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Vieille Julienne Cotes Du Rhone 2004

November 10, 2007

8801.jpg~ $20US 80% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, Southern Rhone, France

Deep crimson color. Giving on the nose with peppery aromas rising from the glass, with dark maduro-tobacco, allspice, cedar, and a little meatiness (bacon?). Reserved on the palate (still young), but very promising with some air – showing a good balance between the brooding animal that is grenache, and a clean acidity. Some fascinating bing cherries pop into the mid-palate, from out of nowhere. Round, but not heavy. If there is oak here, it is subtle and finessed. Tannins very much in play, but not in a detracting way – they just keep the fruit in line. The cherries continue into the finish, in a harmonious tapering ending.

I really like this – well-structured, but still juicy and round in the mouth. Some weird, wild flavors and aromas from the grenache, but quite elegant and restrained. The cherry surprise and it’s persistence through the end of the wine really make this unique. This is another wine begging to be enjoyed with food – I think smoked salmon, braised pork and herb-roasted chicken would really work out well here. One strong Cotes-du-Rhone that equals the lesser Chateauneufs.

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