I am in-between jobs at the moment. It's only been a few weeks. I'm not watching daytime television and I'm not panicking yet. To occupy my mind and keep my palate nimble I'm spending a few hours a week developing a staff-training curriculum for one of Scotland's finest independent wine merchants. One of the most important things about teaching is determining what needs to be taught. In that sense, I suppose I've got quite a curve to attend to myself.
Faded violets on the edge without the light, with it there's a glimmer of ruby, and the violets lose their purple. And what's a violet without it's purple?
The nose is green pepper, muted olive tapenade and a smattering of forest floor. The fruit has turned stoney and there are plums and perhaps a fig or two lingering there. A tingle of minerality.
The palate is very much as it should be. 2002 was a bit of a shambles in the Rhône, and as such this is not going to last much longer. That said, it's not fading. Chave doesn't release rubbish. It's just made that shift, that twist from berry fruit to stone fruit, where the line is blurred between secondaries and primaries and you're not sure where the fruit ends and the tannins and phenols begin. There's that green-ness from the nose, that tang of black olive and the plums and figs, all wrapped in those velvety, plum flesh tannins and an underlying stone-yness. It's a nice, charming Northern Rhône with a bit of age.
*** (Part of me wants to give it ****, just for being true to itself)
Tasted 23/11/09 at Luvians Bottleshop