Jeff Leve came through Vancouver, so we of course took this as the
excuse to set up a dinner with wines from the Rhone.

1998 Le Brun Servenay Champagne Brut Vielles Vignes – this one has
developed some colour and the nose was quite toasty with hints of
peach, lots of development on palate, clean and with good length.

2009 Le Vieux Pin Viognier Roussanne – a BC wine with 13% Roussanne.
Quite pleasing in that you got solid hints of perfume in the nose, but
the same thing came through more powerfully on palate. Smooth and
clean, what I’d call a very ‘pretty’ wine. Some Acacia wood used in
this.

2005 Alain Voge St. Peray Fleur de Crussol – I’ve had this before and
this bottle was less expressive in the nose than expected but was on
point on palate. Silky smooth across the tongue, well balanced, and
with time the nose deigned to express some apple and spice character.

1998 Delas Hermitage Les Bessards – fairly dark wine with a more than
decent nose that included blood, a bit of leather, and hints of mocha,
but an absence of pepper. Tasty supple wine that still has plenty of
soft tannin, I think this is probably on plateau with a long life
ahead.

1990 Dom. Pegau Cuvee Reservee CNduP – hints of black pepper and sweet
fruit in the nose, and lots of good fruit density on palate, with
excellent flavour concentration and a nice spicy element. This one had
been opened four hours before and failed to impress at that time – it
needed a lot of time to open up.

2000 Dom. Vielles Julienne Cuvee Reservee – brilliant wine with dark
colour, a slightly funky nose featuring tar and dark fruit, a weighty
middle, and excellent length. A herbal element comes out in the nose
with time. A real treat and in fine shape after trailing about Europe
with Jeff.

1989 Jamet Cote Rotie – going from power to elegance was an
interesting segue. This had a typical floral nose with underlays of
both currant and anise, and it also had lots of stuffing on palate.
Very enjoyable.

2008 Le Vieux Pin Syrah – another BC wine, this one young and not yet
developing any complexity, but showing good pure fruit in the nose,
well made and with medium length.

1991 Jean Luc Colombo Cornas Les Ruchets – I’ve been slowly working
through a case of this since release, and the wine finally lost enough
tannin to really start singing only a few years ago. It showed a nice
peppery syrah nose, with black fruit and vanilla, and was smooth
across the tongue, still retaining non-lethal levels of tannin. In
fact it was a juicy pleasing presence in the mouth and it had a
decently long finish. Now cruising into endgame it till offers plenty
of pleasure – more so than on release when it exhibited tongue
stunning levels of tannin.
1995 Chapoutier St. Joseph Les Granits – the fruit in this wine was
lighter in terms of characterization – less plum than berry, and it
came with a hint of cocoa in the nose. Good body and length. I think
this is at peak and has good body and length and complemented the
cheese.