1988 chambertin and 2000 RSV

Hudelot-Noellat Romanee St. Vivant 2000Armand Rousseau Chambertin 1988Both bottles are heavyweight wines (which are some of my favourite appellation), and sipping them on a weekday afternoon with a bunch of good friends was a real treat. The RSV gave off an enticing aroma which cut dangerously close to a young Clos de Beze and it took me awhile to register the subtle differences. What really surprised me was the flavour and texture profile – the tannins were very pronounced with a distinctive greenness lying underneath all that bright red cherry fruit. I think of all the RSVs I have tasted, this is by far the most tannic of the lot and I would have mistaken it for a Richebourg had it been a blind tasting. I suppose this has more to do with the winemaker/winemaking style than the typicity of the appellation? The Chambertin, on the other hand, exhibited a very old traditional Gevrey style as far as sensory perception is concerned. Lots of dried dark cherries, dried rose petals and even notes of violet were present in the glass with a muskiness that I usually associate with aged Gevrey-Chambertin. The tannin structure was educational, to say the least. The wine must have been a beast when it was in its youth as the years of potential tannin polymerization (in bottle) didn’t seem to tame the somewhat astringent texture of the wine. Not quite as elegant but tasty nonetheless.