2009 Dumien Serrette Cornas “Patou”

Yes, of course we know it was infanticide, but we did it anyway.  Absolutely opaque, solid purple with blue tinges at the rim.  Subdued aromas of pure ripe blackberry with floral, violety notes, a touch of briar, a hint of light grapefruit.  The color is the loudest thing about this wine.  Flavors are dense & concentrated, a strong vein of acidity runs through from beginning to end and is persistent through the finish.  While deeply colored and carefully structured, tannins are medium+ and textured without being chewy or gritty at all.  Grip.  Flavors of ripe macerated berry, minerality, dark chocolate and deep plum.  A handsome beast, this one.  It begs to be cellared but is no monster, rather powerful subtlety at 13%. Is that an oxymoron? Maybe not with Cornas.

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1998 Chateau Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve

This was an interesting wine to taste blind. The initial thought was a fairly old Burgundy, then possibly Rioja. We made our way next to the Southern Rhone and when its identity was finally revealed and we were very surprised as the nose seemed prematurely developed for a 1998. In fact, it reminded of the ’78 Cuvee de Vatican. That said, there was incredible richness on the palate from the start, light spice, a touch of celery, coffee, well-integrated light tannin and medium+ acidity. It’s got red fruit underneath but a fair amount of surprising tertiary aromas. The nose evolves with air, rounds out and the wine puts on weight, getting more fleshy and filled out by gaining a bit of pleasant liqueur flavor. There is a core of very sweet red fruit. Very interesting indeed….