Monday, December 24, 2007

My Older Gigondas moment on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is a special time of the year. The stress of shopping is over and the last gift has been wrapped. It is time to sit back and relax to soak in that joyful holiday feeling. For this day, I decide to crack open a Gigondas that I have long waited to try. It is a 1995 Domaine Brusset Les Hauts De Montmirail.

Domaine Brusset was founded by André Brusset in 1947. He passed away in 1999 and is the Domaine is currently managed by his son Daniel, and his grand-son Laurent. This producer is also one of the largest land owner in Gigondas whose vineyards are nested behind the "Dentelles de Montmirail", the foothills to Mont Ventoux. Their Les Hauts De Montmirail is usually make up of 55% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah and normally can be aged for over 10 years.

Tasting an old wine is always a treat. One one hand, you are always fearful that the wine maybe over the hill but one the other hand, there is always an excitement to see how much life is left in it. All in all, It is very much like making love to an older partner when you know the lustful youthfulness is long gone but what remains is the seduction and the tenderness.

This bottle of Montmirail is also special that when I bought it, its original label is damaged beyond recognition and is replaced by a hand written label from the Burgundy Wine Company. Although the staff reassured me that it has been kept in optimal storage condition, there is no guarantee that this bottle has not been mistreated over the years.

ABV: unknown, Price: $35

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Sweet dark fruits, vanilla and a touch of flower giving way to aroma of caramel and roasted meat. Still very muted when first opened and it actually takes over an hour in the glass to open up.

Color: Dark ruby core with a slightly brick color rim.

Palate: Seductive in its light touch. It was almost weightless yet mouth-filling with flavor of mostly riped cherry and a touch of earthiness. Very silky tannins and lively acidity. So very smooth and inviting.

Body: Full

Finish: Medium but somewhat nondescript compared to the nose and palate. Clean dark dark fruit is supported by light notes of earthiness.

This may not be the best Giogondas from the 95 vintage but it is drinking really well at age 12. It is still lively with no sign of decline. All the elements come together seamlessly creating a beautiful wine. At this point, this Gigondas actually tastes better than a lot of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the market. Sadly, this is my ONLY bottle.

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