Thursday, December 04, 2008

1998 Alain Paret Saint Joseph Rochecourbe

Did I mention that I like gifts? Well this was an interesting one - how did my sister get a hold of a 10 year old St-Joseph in Northern Wisconsin? And why is it in a Bordeaux bottle?

This wine, the 1998 Alain Paret St-Joseph "Rochecourbe", comes from a northern Rhone appellation known for Syrah-based (the white grapes Marsanne & Roussanne are allowed, up to 10%) reds that tend to be lighter-bodied and earlier drinking than those of its more famous neighbours, Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage. An absolutely gorgeous nose of black earth and meaty old leather, with aromas of dried strawberry, truffle, vegetal and brie highlighted by pretty violet & lavender notes and a deft use of oak. A delicate wine with crisp acid and silky tannins, very focused, clean and fresh, this could be the most food-friendly Syrah I have ever tasted. Those of you who love traditionally styled old-world wine will love this wine, and you could stick this away for a few more years as it is aging gracefully. (Neil, you think you're not a syrah fan, but this is one I know you would like...)
cork. 12.5% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: US$30 (gift)

Well, I don't have an answer to the strange bottle or how this aged St-Joseph made it to Northern Wisconsin, but a special thanks to my sister who picked out this winner because it said 'Joseph' on the label.

PS - we opened a 2003 Vieux Lazaret Cuveee Exceptionelle - riper and fruitier, a decent pour, but it paled in comparison to the 2000 vintage and tonight's Saint-Joseph.

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