1998 Les Cailloux CNdP

Stored Cailloux? That one works as well.

Les Cailloux remains one of my favorite wines; gentle, elegant and smooth. I have reviewed it several times on this blog. So you could imagine that I was happy when I managed to get my hands on some mature bottles. The year is 1998, which in the Wine Spectator scores a blazing 97 points, and according to the Mighty R. Parker gets 98 points with the passus that the vintage is an early drinker. So, dear readers, if the 1998 Les Cailloux is a fuck-up, it appears at least as if they had destiny in their own hands.

I aired it for about an hour, thinking that a relatively gentle wine as Cailloux ought to be a fragile genie that should not be exposed to anImage excessive amount of air after so many years in a bottle, but it was initially – surprisingly – in fact quite tight and closed on the nose. The first thing that strikes you is the scent of raspberries. This is followed by rose hip and minerals. Being Friday night, the staple goods at Casa Nordin is always filé of ox, bearnaise sauce and sallad from cantaloupe, cucumber and feta cheese (strongly recommended!). I am likely to eat just that until the day I die. So: the wine gets another half an hour in the glass from my first sip after decanting until the food is prepared and on the table.

And I really have to say that it improves. Being such an elegant wine from the get-go, I was not expecting it to show something special after the hour of airing (since it seemed slightly dull) and just figured that it had passed it peak. After all, this is not a tannic monster demanding hours of oxygen, not even in its youth.

To my surprise, it came out as a Pinot Noir, with a lovely nose of raspberries, strawberries and ginger. Really soft tannins- but not lacking structure. If it had been a blind tasting, I would have guessed it was a Pinot. The color would suggest the same with an orangey brim. However, possibly because I know this is a CNdP, I also spot a spicy sensation suggesting rosemary and pepper. This is nice, even though I would not wait for another bunch of years before consuming it. I still think Les Cailloux is best drunk young, or at least semi-young. As mentioned earlier, the 2007 is currently perfect, even though I will save a couple of bottles for another five years. Just for scientific purposes. 90p.

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