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2001 Pinot Noir Block 3

Tasting Date: 24 November 2011

A compote of stewed fruits and spice with a pleasant earthiness sitting in the background. The wine is surprisingly fresh and vibrant on the palate with the developed fruits being supported by savoury forest floor and gamey notes. There is great persistence, focus and poise to this wine and it is hard to believe it is 10 years old. Every bit as good as when we last tasted it and still has some years of pleasant drinking ahead. Tasted from cork - and a very good one at that!

Tasting Date: 21 February 2006

This is a difficult one. Difficult because if forces one to face up to prejudice. We like our achievements, so the difficult vintages: the ones where we pull of a triumph in the face of adversity, get our attention and admiration. It’s the difficult son, who one fights with, despairs of, but when they step up to collect their Oscar, all is well. By comparison, the swat that does their homework, keeps their head down and shuts up is damned by faint praise. 2001 was like that: warm, easy, slightly overcropped if we’re honest. It always looked nice: a crowd pleaser; a commercial vintage would be the cynical comment. Then you come back to look and you have to face the facts.

Tasted in some rather tough company (a Guigal La Turque had just been poured by a visitor to the winery) the Block 3 showed itself with great confidence. Rich, ripe, dark fruit was overlying chunks of mushroom and thick chocolate tannins. The wine defiantly demonstrates that while we can achieve a lot in a hard year, like 4 of a kind over a full house, the warm vintage rules. It is definitely at its peak, in that while it isn’t showing any signs of tertiary development and has life ahead of it, I cannot imagine it can ever look better than this. A classic example of how a Pinot can “grow” with age. Drink and be glad you’ve got some.

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