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Again, another wine provided by Seaquam during the wonderful dinner he prepared for us. Typical northern rhone. S

Back to the wine: Stinky, stinky upon opening. Lots of minerals, iodine and smoked meats. A nice food wine. I am hoping Seaquam can fill in the particulars as to this wine. (My notes were waning in accuracy at this point in the evening.) 88 pts.
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One of the great things about wine is the sheer volume of different products available, something to suit everyone. It's always interesting when people with similar tastes are opposed in their reactions to a wine. This was one the only time Lafon Rochet and I differed significantly in our opinions.

I loved this wine, from the moment I smelled it going into the decanter. It's intense, pure Hermitage Syrah: still dark as a barrel sample, with intense smoke, beef, and berry nose; blackberry, blood/iodine, black pepper, minerals, and thyme flavors; quite silky, with excellent acidity; and a long, spicy finish on which some tannins emerged. It had been decanted about 90 minutes before we got to it. There was about 8 oz. left over, so I had a glass again the next night, and the rest about a week later (bottle in the fridge with just a cork in it). It put on some weight the second night, and hints of coffee appeared on the nose. There was very little degradation of flavors by the end of the week, which speaks to the concentration of this wine. I rated it at 95 pts. the first night, and would give it 1 or 2 more afterwards. This is a wine that will go 25 years.

There has been some controversy on these boards over the 2000 Hermitage. If it's cut from the same cloth as the '90, it's a wine that will reward those who are patient.


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My local wine shoppe has a bunch of the 1990 Guigal Hermitage in its temp-controlled store-room marked at $100 apiece. Yesterday, they had a clearance sale, offering 25% off everything in the store. So I decided to buy this as a birthday present for myself. My wife and I took the wine to Kiki's Bistro last night and it was absolutely fantastic.

Dark purple color, with hardly any signs of age. Explosive blackberry nose that you could smell several feet away right from the first pour. Some interesting tea and cardamom nuances. No brett or Rhone stink, whatsoever. On the palate, there is a core of intense black raspberry fruit and razor sharp black pepper, with some bacon fat lurking in the background. Still full of vibrant acidity and sturdy tannins, this wine is probably at its peak and will probably hold there for another 2-3 years. A terrific match with my meal (a duck-breast and leg-confit composition with a green peppercorn sauce). 94P.

Side note: I can't believe that I have been living in Chicago for 17 years and had never ate at Kiki's Bistro. What a great restaurant. Can't wait to go back.


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otis, I've been singing the praises of Kiki's Bistro at 900 N Franklin for years. I didn't realize corkage was allowed there, but it was no problem as they had very fairly priced Burgundies. Btw, the duck breast with green peppercorn sauce/confit is my favorite entree there. I start with the duck salad. Quack quack

As for the wine in the title of this thread, I buy this from many different vintages, finding it consistently excellent. We had the 1990 at a NYC restaurant not too long ago and I agree with the notes.

Just one more sip.
Served with venison, morels, chantarelles, boletes and white truffles.

Agree entirley about the complete lack of funk or brett. A very clean wine.

Colour was a deep red with some signs of bricking.

A harmonious blend of primary and secondary flavours. The cedar box was coming out along with a core of blackberry fruit. A hint of plums. I got a hint of white pepper, but not the black pepper commented on by others. Tannins and acid provided some grip, and would agree that the wine will continue to hold for at least another 2-3 years. Decent length, but not a really lingering finish.

Agree with 94 points.
I purchased the wine a decade ago for $30.
Otis, what it proved for me is that I can't afford this wine anymore, but I could buy it by the case when it was first released. Excuse me while I dodder about on my zimmer frame and mumble about the good ol' days.

What was most instructive for me was comparing it against the 1991 Lindemans Steven Hunter Valley Shiraz, with the aussie wine appearing much younger and having far more life left in it. I was expectiing them to have similar levels of bottle development. (TN)

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