greetings oenophiles, we went to a North Berkeley Import tasting yesterday (highlights for me, the '06 red burgundies from the vineyards one expects to find something to like, an '06 Meursault Genevrieres, and an '05 Chat. Jean Faure St. Emilion). One of their staff gushed about an '06 Cote Rotie that's one of their company's 'cuvee uniques', i.e. put together to their preferences often after barrel tastings. My response was that it seemed to lack a definite 'northern Rhone syrah-based wine' character, granted in my limited experience, recently biased by an excellent bottle of '99 Guigal Hermitage. Seemed like it could pass for a premium Calif. syrah. Of course the usual excuse of the youth of the wine was offered, but to me it wasn't really the qualities I associate with youth (tannin, unruliness), which I found moderate in any case, that I was questioning.
I've read comments on the web that North Berkeley's cuvees in effect take the wines toward the new world or international palate and away from the uniqueness of their original terroirs. Most of the wine I've had from them aren't their cuvees, so I really have no sample to confirm if that's true. What do the experienced palates on this board have to say? Thanks to you all, you've taught me much.