TNs: 14 Chateauneuf de Papes
Our monthly tasting group met in one of our member`s home recently to do CDPs in a blind format. Thanks to his over extended hospitality, we were all treated to home cooked foods which perfectly paired with the wines. After 3 white starter wines, we did 3 flights of 5 with one duplicate:
1995 BEAUCASTEL- aging signs in the color and fruit notes did not detract from a certain elegance and class this showed; mature red fruit was carried in a soft and smooth texture across the palate in an overall pleasing experience; typically “older” wines get lower scores and this was no exception; it was my #3 in the flight and the groups #4.
2006 CLOS SAINT JEAN VIELLES VIGNES- young and vibrant, this had some heat initially which gave way to really nice fruitiness including fresh sweet red cherry; there was some oak in the nose, but not dominating; the wine needs to integrate and when it does, it guarantees to be a delight. After all that, I gave it #2 in the flight as did the others.
1983 JABOULET LES CEDRES- 13.5% ALC.; obviously an older wine by sight, I would have been hard put to ID this as anything other than a Northern Rhone with its nice spicy, peppery notes along with good red and black fruit; I loved this except it was atypical for CdP; when it was all said and done, this was my #1 of the flight and #3 for the group.
1994 BEAUCASTEL- I almost pulled this wine to bring myself; showing its age with browning color, it had some funk in the nose which later on became more identifiable as mildly Bretty; there was also some earth and smoke along with some nice plum and black berry fruitiness; the Brett in this rare instance was not offensive and enough good shined through to allow for this to be a decent wine; nonetheless, it made everyone`s #5 in the flight.
1998 DOMAINE MOULIN TACUSSEL- another aging wine with red/ browning color and some pruny fruit joined by some sweet plums accented by a little spice and hint of black pepper; it definitely was pleasing enough and I gave it #3 and the group got it as their #1, a deviation from the downgrading trend of older wines.
2009 DOMAINE FONT DE MICHELLE- 70% Grenache from 50 year old vines, 10% each of Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre; a little toasty at first and certainly youthful in every way, it had major red and black fruit forwardness especially of black cherry; medium to full body; good length; I sense this will evolve into something very good with some maturity and integration; my #3 and the groups #4 of flight.
2007 DOMAINE DU VIEUX LAZARET CUVEE EXCEPTIONELLE- very youthful, serious fresh red fruit with an emphasis on strawberry and cranberry, it`s nicely topped with a sprinkle of baking spices and delivered in a soft and smooth manner; very enjoyable and my tie for #2 and the groups #2 of the flight.
2007 DOMAINE DE CRISTIA- 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah; another youngster showing well in this case with a little more balance, it is very rich and full bodied with fresh red and black fruit and welcomed length; I had it as tied for #2, the group got as their fav.
2009 DOMAINE MARQUIS RAVARDEL- multi layered and with a multitude of flavors, this was good until the finish which ends of astringent; certainly there`s good fresh fruitiness, but the abrupt end cams undesired and relegated this to a lower rating by all.
2007 DOMAINE DU VIEUX LAZARET CUVEE EXCEPTIONELLE- yes, we had a dup and it`s always good to see how consistent my notes are for the same wine although their certainly can be bottle variations; in this case, the notes and ranking was similar; I got the strawberry and cranberry notes again, but this time there was a hint of cardamom blended into the baking spices and some toastiness as well; nicely balanced, this was my #1 and the group had it at #3.
2007 PERRIN LES SINARDS- wild red and black fruit and especially sweet cherry dominate along with some lavender in this very complex wine; it`s dark purple in color and big, wild and gammy; even in its youth, this is shinning and merited high scoring, my #2 as well as the group`s.
2004 BEAUCASTEL- silky smooth pleasure accompanies the very good ripe, spicy red fruit; another winner in this flight of 5 winners; tied for my #1 as well as the group`s.
2008 CHATEAU SAINT COSME- 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault, 7% Syrah, 3% Clairett; this was another atypical CdP IMHO; nice talc nose carrying on into the mid palate with some vanilla and ripe red fruit; really good balance, complexity and depth with fine length; again, I would be hard put to ID this as CDP, but it sure did drink good; tied for my #1 as did the group.
2008 DOMAINE DE LA JANASSE- here`s another good wine; this flight rocks; spice and sweetness dominates from the nose on and it is soft and pleasing on the palate; it grows and grows and by the end begs for another taste and I obliged; my generous scoring had this as another #2, the group got it at #4.
2004 MYSTERY WINE- for whatever reason, I failed to get this wine`s full name, but will edit it in when others fill in the blanks; my notes state this is more Northern Rhone like with a lot of spice and pepper amidst the black fruit; it drank beautifully and had a nice long finish; my and the group`s $3.
2003 DOISY VEDRINES SAUTERNES- sweet and chewy apricot and peach nectar in an oily, thick substance coating the palate thoroughly for the rest of the night; dessert in a glass.
WOTD= 1983 JABOULET LES CEDRES
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".