I was less impressed with the 1996 Cote Rotie La Mordoree from bottle than I was from cask. Michel Chapoutier still believes it is one of the finest examples he has produced, but agrees that the high acidity has left everything in the wine compressed. It is certainly an outstanding offering, but it will require 5-7 years of patience. Made from microscopic yields of 15 hectoliters per hectare, it exhibits a saturated purple color, and a reticent but promising nose of toasty new oak, cassis, black olives, and smoked game. In the mouth, the wine is medium to full-bodied and dense, but the high acidity and compressed, tightly-knit style make it difficult to penetrate. The finish is long, but the wine is backward and unyielding. (RP)
Good dark ruby color. Complex aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, tar, woodsmoke and game. Thick and complex in the mouth, with enough extract to buffer the bright acidity. The combination of firm, building tannins and lively acidity gives the finish a slight toughness today, but this should develop well in bottle. Quite perfumed on the aftertaste. Strong juice.
Quite oaky, but very suave and smooth despite the massive tannins, which are ripe. Lots of blackberry, mocha and toasted bread character. Full-bodied and well made.
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