While I don’t get to open older wines all that often, when I do I cannot help but get swept up in the nostalgia, the history, and the excitement.  In fact, it’s almost more important than what’s in the bottle.  I mean, as long as it’s not corked or hopelessly over the hill, then the wine is usually magical for having reached a ripe old age, and acquired a great story, and sometimes it is just plain magical to boot.

And older wines are not for everyone.  Were I to have opened this bottle of 1988 Hermitage at my parents house the would likely have suggested I dump it straight down the drain after a whiff, and doubly so after the hefty amount of sediment.  But that was all part of the charm actually.  I don’t want an older bottle of wine to be perfect.  I want it to have defects, like a tattered label, that’s what is should have.  And it should have some sediment and a unique smell; like Cholesteral and bad gas, it just comes with age.  This rare and interesting bottle of Hermitage from unheard of producer (négociant) André Passat was not the best bottle of wine I have ever had.  But it was pretty darn good.  Had it not been from 1988, I may have not loved it as much.  Sorry.  But me and my buddy Shawn did love it.  One of the best bottles lately, even if it was not one of the best bottles ever.  I can live with that… can you?

André Passat 1988 Hermitage

There is smoke and meat on the nose immediately.  On the palate Cab Franc like notes develop with green pepper, cedar, and menthol.  I can’t believe this is Syrah?  Blind?  I go Cab Franc 100%?!  I mean WTF?  At any rate, a wine of age and distinction.  Not going to blow the doors off, but very fun to drink.  Who else is drinking André Passat 1998 Hermitage today?  No one.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED