No, this isn't a repeat post - the year has changed.
After some success with the 1983 Hermitage La Chapelle last weekend (see post below) I decided it was time to to try a younger version of the same wine. There were multiple bottles of the 1998 in the cellar so that was the basis of the decision. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were a total washout as an intestinal flu meant three consecutive days of chicken soup and mostly water and weak tea. Add in that the cold and wet weather is not helping my recently repaired knee and it was time for another good wine.
Since my appetite returned in a big way dinner was a grass fed porterhouse steak with a small salad and a baked Delicato squash. The steak was rubbed with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and lightly dusted with pepper. Despite it being a cold, drizzly and dreary day I lit the grill and cooked the steak outside.
The wine? Once again a heavy sediment clung to the side of the bottle. With this wine being fifteen years the junior to the last one I decanted about 2/3 of the bottle. Much darker color and a much different nose greeted me. The unmistakable smell of raw meat greeted me, with dark cherries and the darkest of plums sneaking out of the decanter as well. There was a wet earth aroma as well. The wine was medium in color as a lot of it was clinging to the inside of the bottle. On the taste it was a little closed but the plum fruit and earth were strong. There was just a hint of age showing in both the edge in the glass and in the taste. There were firm tannins and medium acidity.
Forty minutes later when the steak was on the plate the wine began blooming. The cherries and plums were stronger and as with the older bottle the food took away some of the aged taste of the wine. The raw meat smell was still there, and that is a smell I love. The wine seemed more full bodied and even the finish seemed more lengthy. Food definitely helped the older wine and it definitely helped this younger version.
A very good, but not great, cool climate Syrah. It definitely won't last as long as it's older brother so the two remaining bottles will move to the "drink up" portion of the cellar.