Elegance and power

A nice bottle of wine last night, once again balance was key to its pleasure.

Côte-Rôtie Les Grandes Places 1997, Domaine Clusel-Roch

A ripe nose of dark fruit and some meat. It is quite ripe and earthy, but by no means over-ripe. It has a moderate alcohol content (claimed 12%). The nose is concentrated and round. The palate shows similar concentration and has a very round, complete finish. There is lots of ripe fruit, and it has a pleasing smoky bacon maturity to it. Nice and long, with a good tannic structure, and very well balanced. A very nice wine.

At the same time we opened the basic Clusel-Roch 1997. It was much lighter bodied, with higher acidity and a slightly raw edge to the tannins. This settled down with half an hour in the decanter, but the balance and concentration of the Grandes Places was much more pronounced. It was a good wine, but the Grandes Places was far more lovely and serious. Oddly, it also needed less decanting time.