2012 and 2011 Northern Rhone Wines (Mar 2014)

Vivid purple. Heady aromas of fresh dark berries, violet, woodsmoke and black pepper, with a zesty mineral nuance adding urgency. Juicy, penetrating and lively in the mouth, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors and a touch of floral pastilles. Silky tannins give shape to the long, smooth, appealingly fresh finish. (Incidentally, the 2010 Thalabert is long on potential and short on immediate gratification right now, judging by how it tasted this winter. Its tannins are to the fore and even an hour in a decanter didn’t do much to loosen them up; patience is essential for now.)