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I haven't had occasion to write many wine reviews lately, as I've been trying to be frugal and live off my stash. Well, having consumed all the cellared wine that deserved to be consumed, I reached for the bottle I'd set aside as my "emergency backup wine," the one that should not be touched unless your only other options would be 1) to unjustifiably open a bottle that's not ready to be opened, or 2) go out and buy another bottle.

I paid about $7 for this bottle, and failed to notice the vintage when I purchased it. Most of the Cotes du Rhone wines I've had from 1998 (including one from Barton and Guestier) were good buys, and I figured this was a '98. This should teach me to pay more attention.

This wine was extremely disappointing, despite the bargain price. By most accounts, 1999 was a reasonably good year in the Rhone Valley, so they should have had reasonable fruit to work with. But the resulting wine does not bear this out: it's a pale red with little to offer in the way of aroma, and there's very little fruity taste to be had. There's also a strong acid backlash that makes the thing almost undrinkable. This thing is so weak, it's practically a white wine. Maybe that would have been a better choice.

So much for my backup.

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