Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas 2005.  An appellation in the southern Rhone valley, the warm weather and spicy character of the Syrah grape produces full bodied yet sophisticated wines. The Raspail-Ay is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre grapes. Subdued aromas of sweet blackcurrant and cherry. Very tart at first, it opens up the second day. Medium bodied but with just enough complexity, a blend of subtle spice and red fruit. Understated but elegant and refined, even if not as rustic as a younger Gigondas would usually display. Easily overpowered with food, it was lovely on its’ own and drank easily enough to disappear quickly. Well worth trying another vintage. 87pts  10/12





La Vialliere Cote Rotie2001 Cote Rotie, La Vialliere – Joel Champet, Ampuis, France. 100% Syrah. Almost completely transparent red color with bright luminosity. Intense aromas of spices, green and black pepper, musty wood and a sharp, smoky, perfumed nose. The flavors are taught; tartness with a bit of sweet fruit that develops the longer the bottle is open. Slightly lean yet powerful at the same time, it needs time!

Day 2: A different wine emerges with dark fruit, floral scents and a hint of mint. The tartness has mellowed, the dark sweet fruit gives way to a beautifully smooth, smoky finish with really nice tannins. Delicious, but you need to wait it out or be disappointed! 90 +   1/2013


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