2001 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese*, Selbach-Oster
The second 01 Spätlese in a week - the other was the 01 Wehlener Sonnenuhr from Loosen - but this plays in another leauge. The nose just oozes from the glass with gorgeous scents of fresh summer flowers, sweet lime, pear ice cream, wet stones and elderflowers. Fresh like a daisy. Secondary notes of white raisins and wet grass. Just wonderful!
The taste is impressively elegant, focused and beautiful with perfect sweet fruit - lemons. lime, white peaches and pears. The acidity dances like a ballerina over my tongue. This is just seamsless. The finish lingers on for a minute. You just want to drink more and more and more!
96p (tasted 2012/01)
On friday afternoon I opened these siblings. The 98 Valbelle have been a favourite of mine for years - big, swet and hedonistic -but it was a couple of years since I last tasted it. The 03, that I thought was young and unfocused the last time I opened a bottle, was interesting to see how it behaved with some years in the cellar. Well, with 2 hours in the decanter, what do we have here...
1998 Gigondas Valbelle, Château de Saint Cosme
This takes the longest to open in the glass, from being totally closed to some fine mature notes, and scents of cranberries, lingonberries, forest floor, old dry leather and old wood. With more time in the glass resin and pine aromas emerge. Fine maturity and low keyed fruit but this is much more restrained, in a semi mature way, than I remember it. Nice but not longer great.
The taste is big, warm and steady with lots of sweet cranberries and lingonberries intermingled with notes of dry leather, tobacco, wet undergrowth and empty stables. The finish is long but it dries out a little too much at the end. This is fine with food but on its own it is a little angular. This is the sexy outgoing high school cheerleader that has turned into a neat quiet librarian...
86p (tasted 2012/01)
2003 Gigondas Valbelle, Château de Saint Cosme
A big, warm, creamy nose with notes of sweet cranberries, rasberries, soft leather, forest fire and some wood aromas. Deep and powerful. It has the same profile as the 98 but it is sweeter and much more hedonistic. Very, very good. Resembles the 98 as it was some years ago.
The taste is big, young and strapping with lots of sweet red fruit, finely tuned tannins, and notes of tobacco, leather and dark chocolate. Long, warm and yummy. Pine resin. This behaves as the 98 did 5-6 years ago. Hello cheerleader! :-)
The conclusion must be to drink these sooner rather than later.
93p (tasted 2012/01)