Yet another superb 1991 Rhône

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by jonathan points, Jul 30, 2020 at 6:57 PM.

  1. The northern Rhône I think did brilliantly in 1991. But this time from the south... Beaucastel 1991 is I think at least the equal of the 1989 which I last had in magnum a few months ago. 1991 may have been described as a difficult vintage by the Chateau on its website but if it was Beaucastel should have had more of them. I was lucky as the cork was perfect as I extracted it with my Butler’s thief and my hopes raised.

    This is a beautiful wine - sophisticated, beautifully balanced, harmonious and without any of the slightly inky taste riper vintages in that era can, but don’t always, develop. It’s so fresh!
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020 at 7:11 PM
  2. 1991 was a very fine Rhone vintage, especially in northern ACs. Unusually elegant Cornas from many producers, plus fine wines from the usual suspects in Hermitage, Cote Rotie, Crozes and St Jo.
  3. Now long gone of course, but Verset Cornas, Allemand Cornas Chaillot and Reynard, and Jamet Cote-Rotie were brilliant wines. I don't recall ever having had a southern Rhone 1991.
  4. Thanks for the note Jonathan. The north is well known in 91 - still got a couple of bottles of La Chapelle which is superb and a real surprise to see the Beaucastel showing so well. Maybe it's worth investigating some southern Rhone wines from this vintage.
  5. From memory I only had the Gentaz Dervieux Cote Rotie 91 when it was going for not very much at TWS around 2008. My only experience with his wine. One bottle was decent but not spectacular, the other corked.
  6. That was exactly the same as my experience with two of those TWS '91s, Kevin: one corked and the other "so what"?
  7. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Had the Gentaz Dervieux 91 at a dinner last year and, among a fairly spectacular line-up of reds (Latour, Romanee-Conti) it was enjoyable, but I have to say,couldn't quite live with that company. My only experience of it though.
  8. I don't remember many purchases from French supermarkets but Guigal's Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde 1991 was one when I came across a few bottles in the Intermarché in Digoin in the mid-90's. The same time and place where I got some bottles of Chateau Peyraguey 1990. Both were around 110FF and both were excellent.
  9. Re Gentaz in particular, I always thought the WS bottling of 1991 was a bit more backward than other bottles I had coming through Bibendum that were superb (sadly now all consumed). The most recent tasting last year, the WS-sourced Gentaz 1991 failed to be brilliant and I will probably sell the remaining bottles I have. But like Chave, there is some variation ... it took a second bottle to show what a really great bottle Gentaz 1988 is at dinner last year (for several the best wine in the context of fine DRC, Leroy and a great bottle of Latour 1920). And Gentaz 1989 is potentially greater still.

    These days there is some variation on even the best of other 1991 N. Rhones.

    For example, Chave is at its best, v fine. It is strange that Parker always rated this 89/100. At Linden's vertical of Chave rouge every vintage from 1975 to 2004, it was the 1991 that shone for me, with 1990, 1989 and 1978 not being the best showings (of which the 1978 is notoriously variable). (JLL said that 2003 was his wine of the tasting, but "wouldn't necessarily be a wine I want in my cellar".) The 1991 didn't show at its best at a Chave / La Chapelle offline we did a couple of years ago.

    The most consistent 1991 I have is Verset although I have had one corked bottle.

    I don't have any recent experience of 1991 S. Rhone. It was a difficult year and (e.g.,) no Rayas was made. Some cuvees were a little forced and overdone.
    Kind of the reverse of 1981 which was excellent in the South and difficult in the North (although Gentaz was surprisingly good).
    Curious to note the RP score on the Beaucastel: 77/100.
  10. Wasn’t 91 in the South a year of flood/deluge at harvest time?
  11. You betcha there is. Gentaz bottled by hand barrel-by-barrel. The saying is, only partly tongue-in-cheek, that the bottles vary depending on which barrel they came from, but also depending on what part of the barrel the bottle came from.

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