2003 in Europe was a bonkers vintage, so hot. All the wines I had in the flat that summer got ruined. Many wines are just hideously over ripe, often too alcoholic, and occasionally sweet. But sometimes, one of them has style.
Cornas Domaine de Rochepertuis 2003, Jean Lionnet
This is really crazy man, really ripe and almost, but not quite, jammy. I suppose I’d like to describe the plummy fruit as opulent, will that do? The nose is undoubtedly hedonistic, it entices you in to have a mouthful. This is a nose that really excites the imagination. OK, the palate is tannin-tastic, in fact after the finish is actually a bit bitter. I love the fruit, good acidity, complexity but the tannins, especially after you
swallow spit are just really bitter. This is quite an interesting wine, it has a degree of restraint that most 2003s don’t have, but I fear the grapes were pressed until the pips squeaked.
You seem to be trying really hard not to be negative about this wine (well, we like Lionnet, after all), but it doesn’t seem that you liked it very much. I suspect if this had been a Claret, you’d have slammed it for its bitterness and launched into a rant about how you hate all Claret.
I liked the nose very much, it was just the palate that was a bit of a let down. It wasn’t as hard and dry as most Claret, or indeed as actively unpleasant as most 2003s. I did think it was an interesting enough drink.
So it was OK apart from the taste. Not a huge recommendtion for a wine.