Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is a real babe – nothing masculine here – cushioned, soft with a super-elegant, yet fresh, perfume of red fruits with just a hint of something musky (dusky?) in the depth that envelopes you – forget the vintage, aromatically this is simply fabulous. Elegance might be a reasonable descriptor for the flavours too; softly textured but with depth and complexity. Fair to say that the palate cannot quite scale the same heights as the aromas but this wine simply left me purring.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Lovely precise dark fruits on the nose, partly shaded to black, hints of minerals too before a beautiful note of violets takes centre-stage – just lovely. Cool in the mouth with initially understated impact, yet there is a wonderful complexity of fruit flavours. Just about perfect acidity finally meets tannin with a little hard grain to it. Long and very fine indeed – a clear winner!
Medium-plus colour. The nose is a precocious and heady mix of sweet dark red and black fruits covered by a heavy floral scent; what’s the word I’m looking for(?) – ah yes – Gorgeous! It becomes a pure beacon of blackcurrant as some other great 99s show. Silky smooth with a hint of fat – there is real executive texture here. No fireworks, this 99 is restrained and linear right the way into the mineral / fruit with a creamy undertow finish. Subtle but very, very long. Wow, where have you been all my life Jean Raphet(?) Despite how friendly it is, clearly the palate is just a little tight yet there is ample material here for the future – such a shame there were only 2 more.
A precociously forward nose – it hits you before your nose even reaches into the glass. Ignoring the complex, spicy oak character – and there is a lot of it – the core of the nose is a trip through red, down to black fruit, lower down it is a mineral, coal-like effect. Very high quality indeed. Eventually it takes on coffee, chocolate and a subtle creamyness. This is just a little tighter and with less fireworks than last time, it’s lost a little of the buttery texture (a good thing!), but the frame and proportions of the wine are awesome. Perfect balance, mineral, multi-dimensional and long. It’s drinking fine now, but this will be more and more stunning as it develops – what price one of these when it nears its 40th birthday!
Medium, medium-plus colour. A hint of smoke (yes stems – about 20%, same as the Nuits wines above), silky width, but very primary. Intensity and width across the palate, balance and flavours that continue to seep from your teeth and cheeks after the wine has gone. Plenty of structure, but no hard edges.
Medium, medium-plus ruby-red – no obvious age. The nose on first pour is reticent; a little bramble fruit but not much else. Without ever becoming effusive, the nose builds a core of dark fruit, slowly releasing finer red-fruit notes and even gives a hint of gingerbread. In the mouth it has excellent freshness, tempered by concentration and width without apparent weight. Just a faint fatness covers tannin that still offers a slight astringency. The length is impressive though hardly ‘impactful’. I left the wine for another hour. On return the wine is more open, mineral and showing much more depth of dark fruit on the nose. In the mouth there seems to be more concentration and intensity – I actually left the bottle in the refrigerator as the room was very warm – I think it made all the difference. It’s more together, more intense and the dark flavours infuse the tongue. I was wavering at first, but keep this wine below 18°C and you well get the return for your outlay. Impressive, yet it will be better in 5-10!