November 2005
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Day November 18, 2005

Chave Hermitage 1994 and home-made pizza

I had a pretty good day today, and am getting close on my job hunt. By next week I’ll have something to talk about publicly. So I’m having a bottle of Hermitage to celebrate, and making home-made pizza again. Very little cheese, to keep the fat content low, and a good home-made pizza sauce made from simmered chopped tomatoes and garlic, very simple. Tonight’s fare is red onion, red bell pepper, kalamata olive, and oregano, with a mix of low-fat mozzarella and parmesan sprinkled very lightly, with pepperoni only on half.

The wine is Chave’s 1994 Hermitage, which I just opened and needs a bit of time to breathe. Even just after opening, though, it’s sweetly spicy (not sugar sweet but rather, in the form of sweet spices), on top of the black fruit and signature high-toned tart finish. After a bit of air time, it’s pretty clear that the 1994 is good but not profound. 1994 was a tough vintage in the northern Rhone, with rain in September that ruined harvest for many producers. Chave’s Hermitage is sweet on the palate with good body but at 11 years old, is fairly light and lacking in the depth that one sees in the better vintages. My guess is that early drinking is fine with this wine, although there’s nothing about the 1994 that suggests that it won’t age gracefully for awhile longer.