nice group gathered Wednesday night at Nice Matin for Chateauneuf-du-Pape night. Great to see a bunch of friends, some of whom I hadn?t seen in a couple of years. Nice table, nice service, nice stemware, Nice Matin. There was a nice cauliflower soup amuse, I started with escargots and had a main of duck, escarole, and sweet potato.
2006 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
I?m not a white Rhone fan but I don?t think even a Roussanne/Marsanne fanatic would find this enjoyable. Volatile/chemical nose, I said I have household cleaners that smell better. Better on the palate, but what wouldn?t be? Hot and volatile, with bitter edge to the fruit. But it got better, started as a D, became a C-
1983 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Some thought this past it, but I found enjoyable. Red fruit, pepper and spice, light on texture, high acids. I thought mature but not tired, though not especially Rhonish. One person said it reminded him of mature Rioja, and I?d agree, but I like mature Rioja. B/B+
1990 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Red and black fruit, smoked meat and herbs, full bodied and drinking well. A-/B+
1995 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Sturdy rather than flashy, but nice black fruit, smoke, garrigue. Some tannin left, held up well. B/B+
1998 Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Ripe, a little barnyard, earth, I liked but others loved. B+/B
1999 Beaucastel Hommage a Jacques Perrin Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Wine of the night for me. Unlike some prestige cuvee CdPs this is not about ?more, one of the more perfectly balanced southern Rhones I?ve run across. Black cherries, cassis, a pleasant earthy funk, smoked meat. Nice length. A-
2001 Rayas Pignan Reserve Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Most divisive wine of the night, I was on pro side. Lots of herby/stemmy notes which others didn?t like but I found added complexity, red fruited, elegant for CdP.. B+/A-
2003 Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf-du-Pape
I thought this was surprisingly well balanced for 2003, it?s big and ripe but not excessively roasted or hot. Some exotic sandalwoody aromas on solid fruit. B/B+
2000 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape
This actually seemed riper than the ?03 Pegau, fully mature, a touch hot, with fruit beginning to edge towards pruney and a lack of acid. B-
Very fun night, I liked almost all the wines, I liked all the people!
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
- posted 3 weeks ago