1999 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot
Dad loves Cornas and probably hasn’t had tons of Allemand. This bottle had a capsule that didn’t spin, so I thought it would be a good bottle to experiment with. The cork was soaked through and some had leaked under the capsule. Happened in transport by the local distributor because I bought this on release and have cellared it since. Despite the less that pristine nature of the bottle, the wine was still fantastic. Nuanced in all the ways you expect from Allemand. Decanted, it starts out very syrah and then picks up steam as it unfolds becoming more and more Cornas as the evening progresses. As usual, Allemand manages the trick of taming the coarser qualities of Cornas without entirely eradicating them. I still have no idea how he manages such a fantastic balancing act, but as I’ve been saying for about 8-10 years now, this is the archetype for Northern Rhône syrah to my mind.
2005 Viña Sastre Ribera del Duero Crianza
This wine started off surrounded by a vanilla cloud of oak. However, there was something going on underneath, some dark earth and minerals but most of all a sense of cut. The bottle really developed over the course of the evening. The oak moved towards the background, integrating more with the wine which became more fragrant and red fruited as the evening progressed. It was a wine of power and nuance by the end, a cool combination, and seemed distinctly tempranillo in character. It showed really well with the crazy ass, 21 day dry aged Côte-du-Boeuf that Matt pulled out of his ass. Easily the best Ribera del Duero I’ve had in a good long while. I might have to buy some of this to see what happens.