The February installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. I plan on opening the winning bottle this Sunday and will publish a Bottle Note shortly thereafter.
Although overshadowed by 2005 and 2007, 2006 was a classic vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The cold but dry winter and lack of rain in the Spring were followed by blistering heat in June and July. Relief came with rain on Bastille day, then again in mid August. A balmy September ensured fruit with balance, elegance, phenolic ripeness and tannic structure. The wines were, and still are, well priced.
The Wine Advocate scores below are from a retrospective tasting conducted in March of 2016.
- 2006 Clos des Papes – From the normal tiny yields of this estate (on the order of 22 hectoliters per hectare), the 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape from Paul-Vincent has shed its baby fat and now shows a supple, elegant, seamless profile that’s hard to resist. Kirsch, licorice, garrigue and sweet spice all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced 2006. It benefits from a short decant, and while showing plenty of maturity, it will evolve gracefully for at least another decade. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
- 2006 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe – One of the more youthful wines in the retrospective, the 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau from the Brunier brothers is a head-turner. Possessing the ever present seaweed/nori character that I almost always find in this cuvee, it has a beautiful core of currants, crushed rocks, tapenade and licorice-like aromas and flavors. Made from 65% Grenache, 15% each of Mourvèdre and Syrah, and the balance Cinsault–all from the famed La Crau lieu-dit–this is as traditional and classic Chateauneuf du Pape as you can get. It’s a gorgeous wine that has another 10-15 years of longevity. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.
- 2006 Pierre Usseglio “Mon Aïeul” – One of the gems in the vintage is the 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Mon Aieul, which in 2006 was 95% Grenache and 5% Syrah. Elegant, seamless and weightless, yet with full-bore intensity in its kirsch liqueur, garrigue and licorice-driven aromas and flavors, this sensational 2006 provides that rare mix of both hedonistic and intellectual pleasure. It’s singing today, but will keep for another decade. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
Which 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Should I Open?
- 2006 Pierre Usseglio "Mon Aïeul" (42%, 15 Votes)
- 2006 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe (33%, 12 Votes)
- 2006 Clos des Papes (25%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 36
Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the March installment of Pick My Next Bottle.
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