Robert Parker 94
The opaque black-colored 1990 Cuvee Syrah offers an extraordinary perfume of hickory wood, chocolate, cassis, and black fruits, staggering richness, astonishing opulence, plenty of alcohol, and gobs of tannin. I suspect this massive wine will need at least 10 years of cellaring to reach its zenith. A dazzling effort, this wine does require discipline, as it must be cellared, unless it is consumed by masochists. Imported by Martine’s Wines, San Rafael, CA; tel. (415) 485-1800, Wines of France, Alain Junguenet, Mountainside, NJ; tel. (908) 654-6173, and Ideal Wines, Medford, MA; tel. (617) 395-3300
A famous wine that, despite its humble appellation, stood up beautifully to blind comparison with Hermitage La Chapelle from the same vintage. Dark crimson. Sweet, round, slightly dusty with a hint of gunpowder. Round with the tannins fully resolved. The nose was so fresh that I almost thought it was Cabernet at first. Then it became sweeter and more pungent. Much, much sweeter than most Syrahs. Something mineral on the finish. Lovely stuff that declined faster in the glass than the La Chapelle.
Anticipated maturity: 2000-2020