Edinburgh Rhone Offline Thurs 15th March

Re-posting the notes from John McCann into the main forum here:

Very impressionistic notes....not given enough thought ( very typical )

Liz Bowman - Chapoutier, Coteau de Chery (Condrieu) 2010 and Ogier, Rosine 2015
Both v good, preferred the outright apricot fruit of the Rosine to the Chery.....fruit v mellow mineral, 89v 90

Alan Simpson - Gonon St Joseph Blanc 2009
Delicious after it warmed up...closed initially then lovely nutty and dried fruit nose and palate with a hint of florality.
Excellent length of hazelnut and candied fruit.95

Paul Anderson - Saint-Joseph 2013, Ferraton P&F
Likedthis too, but perhaps needs a couple of years....good fruit and balanced tannins,seemed slightly acidic at this point. 88

& Champagne (TBD) Gaston Chiquet B de B.
Super nose of croissant and hint of lemon. Delightful palate of light citrus and yeasty and almost fungal (in a good way) toast. Very pleasing 92

Keith Willcock - Beaucastel 2001
Lovely all round...smells intense and delivers. Almost a fruit bomb but soft enough to be heading towards a mellow tawny. Rich red fruit with a hint of oak and great long soft acidic rasp flavour. 94/5

Mike Mitchell - 2005 Bosquet des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes
Another bonzer. Really enjoyed this bruiser. Verging on fortified flavour, kirsch-like yet savoury. 93

Chris Welsh - Guigal Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde 82
Wow, what a nose! Could sniff for ages. Lovely gamey, hints bacon yet rich mix of red and hints of stone fruits.
Palate doesn’t quite hit these heights but vg balance on the soft spectrum of rasp/ bramble with a touch of acid. 91

John McCann - La Chapelle 98
Dodgy cork but turned out ok. Very pleasant without any fireworks....good balance, but lacking mix of savoury real intensity, though the tart fruit is still there. 91

Steve Pickles - La Chapelle 83
Naturally more evolved, yet still not hitting the heights. Again good balance and softer acidic red fruit with a touch mushroom and prolonged flavour 92

& Domaine du Mas Blanc Banyuls vv 1985
Interesting as ever. Love this style, particularly the older versions as they are so soft, just enough acid to perk you up with pud. Gorgeous figgy length with hints of prune and a swish of chocolate. 93
Now me as me.

Very enjoyable as well as interesting Rhone offline last Thursday. Thanks to Chris for organising this which was fairly challenging to get on course. The food I chose was very good, octopus and squid followed by venison which both suited the wines well. Well done New Chapter for the food, service and for such a useful room, shame about the new chairs.

Some very decent wines and a useful comparison North v South. Overall conclusion was that they are so different it's better to treat them as separate offlines (which I believe our London friends already do). Good notes John, thanks. Pretty much in agreement with them. The fizz was lovely and interesting too. White St Joseph from Gonon was also very good, best white. The La Chapelles really failed to shine that night. Toss up between the Guigal C-R 82 and the Beaucastel 000 for best red but both were lovely, in quite different ways (surprise surprise). Great with the venison!

Lastly, I do recall my undertaking to see if Silvio can help us out for the next one and will try to see him FTF over the next couple of weeks.
Guigals's Brune et Blonde was the first Cote-Rotie that I ever tasted. It was I believe the 1982, and it was Bob Parsons who brought the bottle to a friends place. Very nice it was at the time and good to know it is still doing well.

Really great dinner as usual and the most interesting part of the discussion, for me, was just how different the wines of the north and south Rhone. For future events we would be best separating the two as they share relatively little other than the name.

I enjoyed the Chapoutier Condrieu, proper wine and became even better in the glass but the Gonon St Joseph was a revelation - shows how much the insider tips on this forum are worth.

Of the reds, the Cote-Rotie shaded it for me and was just singing. Elegant, fragrant, balanced - beautiful. I loved the 98 Hermitage, which had more power as you might expect, though all of the wines had something of interest - even the big bruiser of a CNDP.

The Banyuls brought us very nicely to a close, with the sweetness of fruit well balanced by the acidity. I forget how much I enjoy old Banyuls - it's just not something I tend to buy - will try to rectify that.

The champagne was delicious stuff, not a massive wine but neither was it particularly delicate. The grand cru fruit showing a bit of class, I could have drunk a lot of this I fear.

Every time we drink northern Rhone wine I resolve to buy more cote rotie as I have only half a dozen or so at any given point, have already set up some more auction alerts to keep me focused on it.
First off - Thanks to Chris for the cat herding and New Chapter for excellent food again. Scallops, followed by venison and rounded off with Chocolate pave is my perfect menu.

The Gaston Chiquet (special club?) was a perfect start, light on its feet but with plenty of depth. Great aperitif.

Of the whites the Gonon St Jo stood out for complexity, and the Chapoutier Condrieu nicely balanced without being too blowsy.

I really enjoyed the Saint-Joseph 2013, Ferraton P&F - still young but with a meaty, feral quality that screams Northern Rhone syrah to me and for the QPR was probably the wine I'll be looking out for after tonight, in addition to the Gaston Chiquet

82 Guigal Brune et Blonde was probably the red pick from the North for me, with the 98 La Chapelle just behind.

Others have mentioned the Segway south to C9DP was a little awkward after the elegance of the North, however the 2001 Beaucastel was no bruiser, but for me had both power and elegance in balance and glad I possess another bottle of this. The Bosquet des Papes was a bit porty and hot by comparison but I'd put this down to sequencing and in a line up of bigger wines would more than merit its place on the table (or standing up at a barbeque)

And then Banyuls and chocolate dessert - great way to end.

Did we propose a date for Northern Italy or is that dependent on DiVinos availability?