And Now, a Break from the WBC09 Recap for a 2004 Hermitage

Coming back to DC after the Wine Bloggers’ Conference meant a few things for me—over 1,000 emails in my work inbox, a two-week deadline for a major project, and a desire to drink anything but California wine. Honestly, during the first week back from CA, I didn’t drink much wine at all. By this past Monday, though, my work inbox was approaching a manageable size, my project was rapidly picking up momentum, and my French wines were calling my name. As I don’t hide my weakness for wines from the Rhône river valley, it’s no surprise that when I came home Monday night after a long, but very satisfying day at work, I grabbed an Hermitage before making Hubby and myself our first home-cooked dinner since returning from the west coast.

The 2005 Domaine du Colombier Hermitage (snooth) is 100% Syrah grapes. It had a deep ruby color, with a garnet rim and big legs. On the nose, I was hit with barnyard and Band-Aid aromas, which make me think the wine had a bit of a Brett problem. That said, those aromas weren’t so overpowering as to be unpleasant. Following those smells, there was a nice mix of raspberry, black cherry, blackberry, along with something herbaceous and a touch of lead pencil. In the mouth, the wine was much fruiter, with all black fruit flavors— blackberry, blackcurrant, and black cherry. Following the fruits were dusty, meaty flavors, with only a touch of the barnyard and herbaceousness that was on the nose.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $55, this wine is on the high-side for an everyday glass of wine, but even with the hint of a brettanomyces problem, the wine is aging nicely and offers something a little different. I paired the Hermitage with a grilled chicken that was seasoned with fresh basil and garlic, and it was great pairing because the fresh basil actually brought out the pleasant meaty flavors of the wine. On my second night with this wine, I drank it with homemade Philly cheese steak sandwiches, and it was a perfect pairing. The wine was also enjoyable in its own.

Overall: 3.5 Corks

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