Thursday, March 20, 2008
Cellar Report: 1990 Chapoutier Hermitage...aka "good things come to those who wait!"
I've been in the alcohol enabling business for a long time. How long? Don't ask...it makes me feel very unambitious to ponder. The point is I don't have too many "holy shit!" moments over wine. But last weekend, after dragging a bottle I'd been somehow smart enough to tuck away in the home stash about 15 years ago out of the archives, it went beyond holy shit into the realm of "oh my fucking god!" What caused this outpouring of vinous religious fervor was a bottle of 1990 Chapoutier Hermitage "La Sizeranne". A quick primer here: Chapoutier is a great wine producer in France's Rhone Valley, and their 100% syrah bottlings from the Hermitage appellation tend to be instant classics. I just never imagined it could get this good. This was one of those drinking moments that just kept getting better and better, the wine changing in the glass with every sniff and sip...there goes some smoked meat followed by white pepper and violets. Wait, was that really bacon fat that was covered with dirt all wrapped in lavender and rosemary? And who thought to throw cocoa into the mix? Crazy stuff here, this one just went on and on and on and etc. Case in point why it's always fun to have some stuff stashed away for a few years. Sadly, it's gone....but luckily I do have a 1.5 liter of their 1989 bottling waiting a similar fate at a future dinner party...heehee!