The 1998 Gigondas Cuvee Valbelle, which is made from 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah and aged in 20% new French oak, steps everything up a notch. Starting out reticent on the nose, with ripe blackberry fruit, ground pepper, dried flowers and beef blood-like subtleties, it knocks it out of the park on the palate and has full-bodied richness, beautiful density and a savory finish. Fully mature, yet still youthful and with plenty of life, drink it over the coming 4-5 years. (JD)
Ripe yet subtle. Dark, flavorful and supple, this full-bodied red is packed with cassis, smoke, toasted oak and plum. Has a massive tannin structure and a long, tasty finish.
Deep, bright, saturated ruby. Spicy, sweet aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, cassis, espresso and bitter chocolate. Wonderful sappy sweetness with verve; thick and silky. Hugely ripe yet precise and fine. Tastes sweeter than its 1.5 grams/liter residual sugar would suggest. Not at all porty or over the top. Finishes with big, mouthcoating tannins. A superb Gigondas.
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