Domaine Christian Sérafin Père et Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin Vielles Vignes (villages) 1988

Serafin Gevrey VV 1988

Old vines come from the Brochon side of Gevrey, averaging 60 to 80-years-old.

Twenty-five years on tasting.

A brothy cherry red color with touches of ochre.  A bit forced on the nose: an Asian spice influence, not unlike that found in Chinese-American cuisine.  Decent fruit if a bit overmacerated.  Soupy in texture.  A driven oak char on the palate: hickory and coffee infused meat and Hawaiian luau sauciness.  Barb says, “sweet onion BBQ potato chips”. The acidity has an exotic sweet – sour character with more than a touch of edgy volatility.  An astringency to it: not from the tannin but from the barrel toast.

This is not an off-bottle.  In our opinion, an undue oak treatment for a villages level wine in a vintage like ’88.  Our understanding is this particular U.S. importer, Bobby Kacher, is particularly fond of new oak and in encouraging Serafin to apply this level of barrel toast he did Christian no favors.  A wine that should have aged with grace is now lumpy, clumsy and out of whack.  So interesting for sure for wine forensics like us (and maybe a hypothetical good choice for fast food Chinese restaurants like Panda Express should they ever adopt a BYOB policy).  Otherwise, ’88 is a vintage defined by its purity, classicism and finesse and we would recommend seeking out those attributes elsewhere.

Serafin Gevrey VV 1988 #1

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