1988 Michel Ogier Côte-Rôtie

I can’t be objective about Michel Ogier, but I can say that the reactions around the table of 8 tasters to the ’88 CR ranged from “spectacular” to “the best syrah I’ve ever had”. It’s probably a few years away from hitting its stride, as indicated by the tannic bite on the back-palate, but certainly following its evolution from barrel through age 10 has been a fun task (as with the ’85 Jamet below, the importation of this bottle was, ah, irregular). Like all of Michel’s wines, the ’88 is brett-free, shows no obvious new oak (the proportion of new oak was about 15%) and is remarkably true to its terroir. Lots of perfume, medium to full-bodied, sweet raspberry flavors, heavy on the bacon and smoked ham. In fact, several on the other end of the table (we were pretty buzzed by this point) broke into a chorus of the Oscar Meyer jingle. Reference level Côte-Rôtie. I grin about the memory of a prominent wine critic’s review at release which said that this wine was very tasty but wouldn’t age. This ought to hold for at least another 20 years, so I guess it depends on what one means by “age”.

SY (4/99)