1997 and 1996 Rhone Valley Wines (Jan 1999)

Medium-deep red. Less forthcoming but nuanced aromas of leather, pepper, black raspberry and brown spices. Fat but unforthcoming in the mouth; more closed than Rostaing’s ’96 Viaillère. The pepper and leather flavors are complicated by notes of licorice and fresh blood. Strong acidity. This may well merit a 90-point score with three of four years of additional bottle aging.