1998 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave St. Joseph (France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph)

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France, Northern Rhône, Red Wine, Rhône, St. Joseph, Syrah

Drank this with home-made cassoulet tonight. Brilliant wine and brilliant food/wine pairing. Started out very acidic right out of the bottle, but with air, the fruit bulked up, and the tannin and acidity melted into the wine’s structure perfectly. Drinking this is like drinking liquid black cured olives, rosemary, meat juices, bacon fat, and crushed rock. Although there is plenty of black fruit in this wine, the earthiness, saline component, and texture are the drivers of this wine. At $20 per bottle, this is one of my best buys ever.

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I am not a professional wine taster, nor do I have any professional training in the wine trade. I am a wine enthusiast who has spent countless hours tasting wines of many different styles. My palate is not aligned with a single wine critic, and I call all wines "as I taste them". My site is a source of tasting notes and wine recommendations as well as warnings without conflict of interest. You'll just have to figure out how your palate aligns with mine. My palate generally tends to veer towards Old-World wines that put a premium on terroir and lovely balance and finesse, rather than raw power...please keep that in mind as you read my notes.

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