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More Rhône 2001

A selection of assorted southern and northern Rhônes from OW Loeb’s (www.owloeb.com) 2001 Rhône offer. I've not tasted enough of the southern Rhônes yet to draw any conclusions, but together with the wines from Bibendum's 2001 Rhône offer, I can now draw some rather tentative conclusions about the North. Overall, it's a slightly below par vintage, better than 2000, but not as good as 1998 (and, of course, well below the spectacular 1999). There are still some good wines, but these tend not to be good enough to justify the relatively high prices. Bear in mind, 2002 is likely to be a very poor vintage in the both the North and South. Rather than declassify, in the North they've managed to change the rules regarding minimum alcohol. The French seem to be quite good at this: they devise elaborate rules to protect the integrity of the appellations, and then when needs must they can alter them. What's the point in having the rules in the first place?
Prices given are for a case of 12, in bond (ex VAT and duty)
Tasted: 11
March 2003

Paul Jaboulet Ainé Beaumes de Venise Côtes du Rhône Villages 2001
Ripe, forward and juicy with lots of spicy-framed berry fruit. Nice. Very good+ (£59 ib)

Domaine Sainte-Anne Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Nôtre Dame 2001
Very youthful. Structured, bright, vivid forward fruit. Quite firm. Lots of character. Very good+ (£66 ib)

Domaine Sainte-Anne Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Saint Gervais 2001
Firm, intense, spicy and very vivid. Youthful, spicy-edged fruit dominates here. Good density. Very good+ (£79 ib)

Domaine Les Hautes Cances Cairanne Vieilles Vignes 2001, Côtes du Rhône Villages
Forward, spicy nose with savoury, expressive fruit. Ripe earthy fruit on the palate: quite expressive. A terroir wine. Very good+ (£74 ib)

Domaine Les Hautes Cances Cairanne Col du Débat 2001, Côtes du Rhône Villages
Spicy forward nose. Bold, earthy savoury palate with good structure. An earthy wine for keeping. Very good+ (£89 ib)

Lionnet Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Syrah 2001
Spicy nose with a toasted edge. High acidity dominates the intensely savoury palate. Quite expressive but tough. Very good (£64 ib)

Domaine de Mortier St Joseph 2001
Quite light with caramel-edged juicy berry fruit and good acidity. Good/very good (£65 ib)

Domaine de Cornilhac St Joseph 2001
There’s a roasted edge to the high-acid cherryish fruit. Quite light. Good/very good (£85 ib)

Paul Jaboulet Ainé Domaine de Thalabert Crozes Hermitage 2001
Touch of meatiness to the savoury raspberry fruit on the nose. Nicely weighted chewy, savoury palate with some green olive notes. Midweight and appealing. Very good+ (£102 ib)

Lionnet Domaine de Rochpertuis Cornas 2001
Roasted, spicy nose. High acid palate is quite lightweight for Cornas, with firm tannins, bright fruit and a tarry, roasted edge. Very good (£120 ib)

Domaine Daubrée Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde 2001
For the first time in 2001 Martin Daubrée is bottling his Côte Blonde and Brune wines separately. This has a warm, ripe, spicy nose. The palate is quite chunky and spicy with good acid. Nice enough but fails to hit the heights. Very good (£179 ib)

Domaine Daubrée Côte-Rôtie Côte Brune 2001
Firm, spicy woody nose. The chewy, savoury palate is very tannic and firm. A sinewy wine for keeping. Very good+ (£189 ib)

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