More Old Bargains

Yet again it happens. The best deal on the list is an older wine. This time is was Hermitage, Paul Jaboulet Aîne, 1999, which was going for $67 a bottle on a list filled with current vintages for bigger bucks. This wine is perfectly ready to drink now, with earthy aromatics, firm structure and the long enticing finish that only arrives after all the sweet young fruit loses its baby fat. What was striking about this fine syrah was its balance and refinement. Syrah loses its complexity when producers feel the need to supercharge its already robust character. In this wine you can actually taste syrah. The most corrupted varieties in New World winemaking have to be syrah and pinot noir as winemakers have turned pinot noir into syrah and syrah into port.