You already know what it is. There’s not much to even say about it because you already know it’s delicious. Quite delicious. Romance in a bottle? Absolutely. Pale copper with salmon accents and energetic effervescence. The nose features sumptuous cranberries and raspberries, as well as baked apple tarts. Some wild strawberry notes to go with the brioche aromas.
This is no hidden gem of a wine, you’ve all tasted it before and you know how good and reliable it is. A benchmark and always impressive. Pleasing, not racy, acidity and that hard to describe essence of quality. 40/30/30 CH/PN/PM and those red grapes truly shine here. The palate references the nose with more sparkling red berries and autolytic notes. Impressively long finish of pure elegance. Flabbergastingly lovely. — 10 days ago
History in a bottle. This was Laurence’s first vintage that completely bottled and sold out and oh, what an effort it is! The fruit is so well preserved whilst the abundance of secondary characteristics well on display. Structurally sound still and very much alice. One of the oldest CdP’s I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing and just proves how special these wines really are. — 11 days ago
Lunch in Alsace. The 2009 Château Rayas reminds me of the legendary 1990. Although the high alcohol is apparent, the wine is in complete harmony. Medium garnet colored, the nose exhibits a wide array of dried herbs, ripe, almost jammy strawberries and raspberries, red currant, red cherries, iodine, savory notes and earth. On the palate, the high level of concentration is head spinning, but there is just enough acidity to keep everything balanced. The 2009 Château Rayas will evolve gracefully for two or more decades and ranks among the finest vintages of this estate. — 12 days ago
Celebrating with a couple of nice bottles tonight
2.5 hour decant(lots of chunky/fine/cloudy sediment). An astonishing dark purplish magenta color. On the nose: expressive notes of plum, cedar, worn leather, musky earth, floral, and smokey vanilla. Taste: smooth, creamy, rich wine with plum, cedar, tobacco wrapper, burnt earth, and a white pepper- strawberry-graphite long finish. YUM!! Comfortably in its drinking window(with decant) and more years to go. — 11 days ago
Two bottles opened. Both the same… Regal tawny color. Mostly transparent. Fragrant herbal nose. Notes of ripe red fruit, herbs de Provence, dark dry earth and some fragrant flowers. Well balanced in the mouth. This wine is in a perfect spot, drinking today at peak. — 10 days ago
A beautiful wine well past the two decade mark. 80/20 blend of zin and petite Syrah. Nose has raspberry, vanilla, cedar, dried leaves and a touch of heat. Texture is silky on the attack, with glycerol and still a bit of grip on the back end. Richness abounds, with ripe syrupy cherries and raspberry and chocolate, with subtle American oak, and the whole package somehow glides rather than trudges. Wears its ~15% alcohol well. — 20 days ago
The 2016 Chateau Musar, the winery’s latest vintage on release, is much less forthcoming on the nose than the 2013 and ‘15 that I’ve tried recently, despite - or perhaps because of - the fact that the Hochars consider 2016 to be a successful and very ageworthy vintage.
The nose is quite dense and tightly wound, much like a left bank Bordeaux presents in its youth, not yet revealing its cards besides aromas of cedar, steeped plum, smoked beef and cinnamon. The palate, however, is open for business - powerful and saturated, striking that wonderful Musar balance between dark fruit and tangy acidity, expanding towards a puckering finish with good length.
The lasting impression here is of a very modern rendition of Musar, with great clarity and purity to the fruit, fine tannins, refreshing acidity on the palate and great drinkability now (though equal potential to age). My preference of late remains the 2013, but that’s now quite hard to buy - so I’d happily have a case of this instead.
94+ — 17 days ago