WTN: Clos and Behold

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WTN: Clos and Behold

Postby Bruce K » Mon May 22, 2006 4:53 pm

Couly-Dutheil 2000 Chinon Clos de l'Echo (gift)
This starts out with a super nose of black cherry, flowers, earth and minerals. The palate follows with black cherry, earth, minerals and a little graphite. It has intense fruit combined with wonderful minerality, bright acidity and serious structure, yet it’s also very refreshing. Plenty of tannins remain, suggesting ample aging ability (this is my only bottle so I’ll never know), but they do not detract. It’s an excellent match with leftover sockeye salmon baked in a maple/soy/ginger glaze. The next day and then three more days later, it’s still delightful and even more minerally. Importer: Bercut-Vandervoort, Brisbane, Calif.

Clos du Mont-Olivet 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, $25
Wow. I’ve had four or five CdPs in the past, but this is the first that really smells and tastes the way I’ve heard the appellation described. The nose is incredibly effusive, dominated by dark earth and smoke, with some barnyard accents. On the palate, there is raspberry and maybe black cherry or blackberry fruit, with strong dark earth and smoke. Plenty of tannins are there but it’s fine for drinking now. It’s very complex, definitely on the earthy, rather than garrigue-like side of things, but there's enough acidity for balance and it's not at all oaky. To my tastes, it matches brilliantly with pork chops baked with apples and raisins. Importer: Calvert-Woodley, Washington, D.C.
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Re: WTN: Clos and Behold

Postby Robin Garr » Mon May 22, 2006 6:13 pm

Nice notes, Bruce ... I was just commenting the other day on a '97 Bordeaux from Bercut-Vandervoort, which is probably not a household name.

I'm happy to see your '98 CdP report, too. That was widely thought of as an outstanding vintage at the time, before the craziness of the 2000s started, but a lot of them have been in their dumb stage for a while. At the age of 8, they might just be starting to wake up now ... which would be very nice.
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Re: WTN: Clos and Behold

Postby Bruce K » Mon May 22, 2006 7:11 pm

Thanks, Robin.

At the age of 8, they might just be starting to wake up now ...


This one seemed wide awake to me. I actually wound up buying more '99s than '98s and 2000s because I read (probably here) that it was a more classic, structured vintage, but I haven't popped one of those yet.

. . .Bercut-Vandervoort, which is probably not a household name.


Not in my household. I had never heard of them until I looked on the back of this bottle. The Clos de l'Echo was a gift and was purchased in California. Here in the D.C. area, the Couly-Dutheils I've found have been imported by Elite Wine Imports which is a local, fairly small operation run by a French ex-pat who is very nice and seems to be bringing in some good wines from small growers.
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Re: WTN: Clos and Behold

Postby Rahsaan » Tue May 23, 2006 9:36 am

some good wines from small growers.


I suppose it's not quite the scale of Gallo but Couly Dutheil is one of the larger Mega Growers within the "drinkable" Chinon crew. Well over 100 hectares.
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Re: WTN: Clos and Behold

Postby Bruce K » Tue May 23, 2006 9:59 am

I didn't know that. In my Chinon "pecking order," I'd put them behind Bernard Baudry and Olga Raffault (as well as Breton and Taluau if we're expanding to Bourgueil), but in addition to this wine, I've enjoyed their '96 Clos de l'Echo and various vintages of their early-drinking Les Gravieres. So I do like them but had no idea they were in the "mega" category.
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Re: WTN: Clos and Behold

Postby Rahsaan » Tue May 23, 2006 10:10 am

Well, as I said, it's not Gallo, but to Couly Dutheil's 120 hectares, Olga Raffault has 25, and Baudry has 30, although they just expanded recently with the Clos Guillot. I don't know if Couly Dutheil is manual harvest, and I don't know much about their production, I believe they are still "family owned" for whatever that is worth, and I guess they have produced some nice wines in the past, even if as you said, today there are other more exciting producers.
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Re: WTN: Clos and Behold

Postby Otto » Wed May 24, 2006 2:59 pm

Bruce K wrote:
At the age of 8, they might just be starting to wake up now ...


This one seemed wide awake to me. I actually wound up buying more '99s than '98s and 2000s because I read (probably here) that it was a more classic, structured vintage, but I haven't popped one of those yet.


I've actually noticed that many 98s both N and S Rhone seem not only open, but rather evolved, even! Anyone else with the same experiences? I agree that the 99s and 01s are more classic and structured and more to my taste also! I don't have any 98s or 00s - wasn't convinced by them. (I might make an exception and buy a bottle of 00 Brettcastle, though.)
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