I’ve been meaning to send this note out for months. For a year, really. Or even longer than that. But time flies and the days go by and the next thing you know, the wine is all gone, sold out, never to be seen again on a retail shelf.
And no, I’m not being overly dramatic, at least not about the wines of Robert Michel. When these wine from craggy terraces of the northern Rhone’s Cornas region, are gone, they are really, truly gone. Monsieur Michel retired with the 2006 vintage with no one to follow directly in his footsteps. He has a protégé in Guillaume Gilles (who cellars the wine in the Michel cellar and works a parcel of the old Robert vines) but the Robert Michel label will be no more after the 2006’s sell through.
I could get all cranky and lament that his wines represent a dying breed of old-school, aging-required winemaking that’s fast disappearing from this planet. (But I won’t, because I really believe that old-school is the new new-school and we’re seeing a return to wines that reward a bit of time and patience.) I could go all hype-monster and tell you that these wines WON’T LAST!!!! BUY NOW!!! (Ok, I am kind of doing that, but it’s true.)
Or I could just tell you that if you’re at all prepared to plop down $60 for a bottle of wine any time, ever, these are bottles you should plop it on. Aside from being pieces of liquid history, they are almost stunningly delicious while still maintaing depth of geek complexity for those who seek it. The