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2012 Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot
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92-94 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - March/April 2014

Tasted from different barrels:  #1:  High-pitched, distinctly spicy red fruits on the nose and palate.  Vaguely pinot-like in its relative delicacy and focus.  Fine-grained tannins add gentle grip to the long, spice-dominated finish.  #2:  Ripe cherry and candied plum scents show good ripeness and a hint of licorice.  Offers bitter cherry and anise flavors and chewy texture.  Closes with solid grip, an echo of cherry pit and good sweet persistence.  #3:  Aromas of black and blue fruits and incense.  The most exotic of these four barrels and the most densely packed, with intense blueberry and cassis flavors and a touch of minerality adding lift and bite.  #4:  Emphatic, smoke-laced dark berry and cherry-cola aromas, with suggestions of smoky minerals, licorice pastille and cracked pepper.  Supple, expansive dark berry compote flavors are deep but lively and appealingly sweet.  Velvety tannins come on late and fold smoothly into the ripe berry fruit on the strikingly long, mineral-driven finish.

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