Domaine Font de Michelle Red Rhone Blend Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1999
A medium ruby/purple color as well as a big, forceful, perfumed bouquet of licorice, crushed pepper, Provencal herbs, blackberries, and cherries. The aromatic fireworks are followed by a soft, easy going, medium to full-bodied wine that the French would call a vin de plaisir. The complex nose, evolved palate, luscious fruit, abundant glycerin, and velvety texture have resulted in a charming, forward Chateauneuf.
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Made in homage to Etienne Gonnet, the founder of the estate, this wine is only produced in top years (there was no 2002, for example). Old vines give great concentrated fruit, dominated by the ripe, earthy Grenache, with a touch of sophistication from Syrah and Mourvedre. This is well-made wine, ripe, delicious and likely to age.
Dramatic increases in concentration, structure, and intensity are found in the opaque ruby/plum/purple-hued 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Etienne Gonnet. Aromas of licorice, seaweed, black pepper, plums, figs, black currants, and cherries emerge from this full-bodied, dense, opulent red. With high glycerin and alcohol, but low acidity, this is a sumptuous, full-throttle Chateauneuf du Pape to cellar for 1ndash;2 years, and consume over the following 12ndash;15. It is somewhat reminiscent of the glorious 1990, which is drinking splendidly well.
The 1,000 case cuvee of 1999 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuveacute;e Etienne Gonnet (a blend of 65% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre) reveals a saturated dark ruby/garnet color. The nose has intense aromas of blackberry jam intertwined with cherries, garrigue, pepper, and smoke. It is an outstanding effort made in a modern style, but with plenty of the regionrsquo;s typicity. This sexy, full-bodied, layered wine can be drunk now and over the next 12+ years.
Food Pairings for Domaine Font de Michelle Red Rhone Blend Châteauneuf-du-Pape
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