|Ermitage 'Le Pavillon'
4/2000. Bought at auction, Apr-97 for $190.
So what if I lost a fortune on NASDAQ lately? 'on paper' gains are illusive. They come and they go (and they will come again!). But drinking a great rare bottle of wine... Now that is a real experience!
To uplift my somewhat gloomy mood, I decided to treat ourselves to this rare gem tonight. In three days we leave on a 16-days trip to the States, so this will probably be our last fine wine at home before we return.
1989 was the first year in which Chapoutier produced this single vineyard Hermitage (why does he call it Ermitage???). Made from very old vines harvested to a ridiculously low yield (14 hl/h!). Less than a thousand bottles were made, and our bottle had the (insignificant?) distinction of bearing the number 0008.
We had this wine accompany our Friday night dinner of three kinds of stuffed pastries for starters followed by a super tasty steak tartar.
COLOR: Very very dark, almost jet black. Thin and light clearing around the rim. I was expecting some sediment but none was visible.
NOSE: Immense! Profound beautiful and round, with layers of black fruit, violets, sweetish Syrah nose and oak elements. Very deep and wide-spectrum. Though I believe this was aged in 100% new oak, the wood softly blends with the many other aroma and bouquet elements to bring out completely balanced and heavenly satisfying nose.
TASTE: Powerful, complex and extremely concentrated. So many flavors in one sip. Infinitely winey with fantastic grip and focus. The fruit is deep and mellow and the wine as a whole is smooth and wholesome in spite of the still unresolved tannins. Simply wonderful.
LENGTH: Very long aftertaste that keeps changing and revealing more layers long after each sip is down.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: A blockbuster wine no doubt. But a very complex and multi-layered blockbuster at that. Deep and concentrated, chewy textured, this wine is so well endowed, yet amazingly never feels excessive. Perfectly balanced with gobs of fruit, winyness, tannins and refreshing acidity.
OVERALL: Extraordinary!! Given a few more years for the ripe tannins to subside some more and for everything to get into an even more harmonious blend, this wine has all the potential for becoming a perfect Grand Vin like the '78 'La Chapelle' or the '83 'La Mouline'.
|MARK: 19.5/20.||BUY MORE? Yes.|
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.