Cave de Saint-Désirat 1995 Saint-Joseph Cuvée Côte-Diane ($25.00)
Returning home from the Rhone and feeling nostalgic, I pulled out this little beauty, which proved to be mature but still youngish, although not really a wine meant for extremely long aging. (I don't have the price, but I didn't buy it all that long ago - I think it was in an "older stuff that we want to move" basket for $25 or so. In looking for comparative prices, I note that lists only one or two 1995 Saint-Josephs, in the $50 range.) Very dark garnet, almost black, with a clear reddish-violet edge. Youthful looking, no hint of brown. Good, typical Northern Rhone Syrah - red-berry fruit and spice backed by earthy notes of game, animal fur and smoke, but sweet red fruit is dominant in the nose even a decade after the vintage. Ripe and juicy fruit flavors carry out the aroma's promise, supported by good lemon-squirt acidity and soft, integrated tannins. If there's any flaw, it's a soft finish that loses its acidic snap and closes with a whisper, but that's a minor quibble in a mighty fine wine. US Importer: Hand Picked Selections, Warrenton, Va. (Jun 15, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Flatiron steaks "Veracruzana-style," dusted with black pepper and red chile powders and marinated in lime and grapefruit juices with a touch of soy.

Wine notes in 'shelf-hanger' format:
We publish Wine Lovers' Page tasting reports in the familiar "shelf-hanger" size and format, to make it easy for wine merchants or collectors to print them out, clip and post them where this wine is displayed. We do ask, however, that the name, logo and URL be left intact, and that these reports be used with the specific wines rated, not different bottlings or vintages.

Our tasting policy:
All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I accept no free samples from wineries or distributors, purchasing all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

View the previous tasting note: Galea 2003 Südtiroler Vernatsch Alto Adige Schiava
View the next tasting note: Tenuta le Querce 2000 "Il Viola" Aglianico del Vulture