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The Gentaz dinner 19/02/2005 (TNB)

Gentaz-Dervieux stopped making Cote Rotie with the 1993 vintage, but even before then he was never celebrated in quite the way that Guigal was or various new stars have been since. We recently tasted almost all the vintages back to 1982 (missing only 1990 although also the 1987 was corked) and what an amazing collection they were.

So dissapointments first: the 1984 was badly oxidised (whether this was an odd bad bottle I don't know) and the 1986, from a poor Northern Rhone vintage was awkward and a bit short. On the other hand, it's not that Gentaz can't do poor vintages because the 1993 is a lovely medium-weight wine of great character and the 1992 a rather serious concentrated wine of real pedigree. Even those wines had a fantastic sence of terroir with amazing minerality, but the top vintages were absolutely stunning - all of 1991, 1989, 1988, 1985, 1983, 1982 were stars. The 89 is probably the most complete wine, the 85 stunning, the 83 more quirky and less harmonious. The 82 is not quite in the same league but the 91 might well be with a few more years. What a flight - they confirmed my previous suspicion that Gentaz played in a different league to the other producers in the area. And to my taste how much more exciting, individual and redolent of place through having been made without new oak.

Dinner added to Fine Wine Diary 02/04/2005   Return to top