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Posts from the ‘Châteauneuf-du-Pape’ Category

1999 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée – Bottle Notes

The family of Domaine du Pegau has roots in Châteauneuf-du-Pape dating back to the mid-17th century. The word Pegau refers to a wine jug discovered in the excavations of the 14th century Pope’s palace in Avignon. Today, the estate is run by the Paul Ferraud and his daughter Laurence.

Light red in color. 13.5% ABV. Soaring nose of red and black fruits, mint, leather and a hint of barnyard. Complex, concentrated and and rustic. Cherries, kirsch, garrigue and iron on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long with silky tannins. This wine picks up weight with time in the glass. Still singing at 18 years of age. Beautiful now and over the the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 93 points.

Current vintages including the 2013 and 2014 can be found had for just about $50. Hard to go wrong with this iconic producer of CdP.

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2000 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in the Rhone Valley, was founded in 1898 by Hippolyte Brunier. Located on the highest terrace of the appellation, the domaine was named for an 18th century telegraph relay tower located nearby. Today the 173-acre domaine is run by Daniel and Frederic Brunier, the great grandsons of the founder. Vieux Télégraphe is one of the appellation’s most admired estates. The vineyards are planted to 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault and other grapes.

Garnet in color. 14% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, garrigue, white pepper and seaweed. Medium body with medium to strong acidity. Big and bold with noticeable tannins. Cherries, kirsch, minerals and iron on the palate. The finish is long and somewhat tannic. Classically structured Chateauneuf from a traditional producer. I’d be inclined to drink over the next several years while there is enough fruit to balance out the tannins.

My rating: 92 points.

I previously wrote about Vieux Télégraphe in 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape: My Recommendations. The ’12 version of this wine is spectacular and still available at retail for about $60 per bottle. Happy hunting!

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1998 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

The 1998 Vieux Télégraphe was the winning bottle in the November Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The bottle was not decanted and was served with Thanksgiving Dinner.

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in the Rhone Valley, was founded in 1898 by Hippolyte Brunier. Located on the highest terrace of the appellation, the domaine was named for an 18th century telegraph relay tower located nearby. Today the 173-acre domaine is run by Daniel and Frederic Brunier, the great grandsons of the founder. Vieux Télégraphe is one of the appellation’s most admired estates. The vineyards are planted to 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault and other grapes.

Light red in color. Almost translucent. 14% ABV. Restrained nose of red fruits, kirsch, iron and herbes de Provence. Medium body with plenty of acidity. Precise and complex with pure, sweet fruit. Dried cherries, garrigue, iron and game on the palate. The wine picks up weight and becomes more intense with time in the glass. The finish is exceptionally long. Aging beautifully. Well stored bottles will drink well for another 2-4 years.

My rating: 94 points.

I previously wrote about Vieux Télégraphe in 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape: My Recommendations. The ’12 version of this wine is spectacular and still available at retail for about $60 per bottle. Happy hunting!

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2004 Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

Vieux Donjon was formed in 1966 by Marcel Michel. The current iteration came about in 1979 with the marriage of Lucien and Marie José Michel. Both Lucien and Marie José’s parents owned vineyards in the region, and those holdings were combined to form Vieux Donjon. The domaine covers fourteen hectares of vineyards, thirteen planted to red grapes and one planted to white.

Light crimson in color. 14% ABV. Rustic nose of red fruits, iron, garrigue and herbes de provence. Medium body with ample acidity. Fresh and lively on the palate. Flavors of kirsch, saline, plums and cherries. Medium length on the finish. Delicious, traditional Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Drink over the next 1-3 years.

My rating: 91 points.

Vieux Donjon is an organically farmed, traditional style of Chateauneuf-du-Pape that ages well and sells for a fair price. The 2014 version of Vieux Donjon can currently be bought at retail for around $60 and should have a place in your cellar.

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2004 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

The 2004 Beaucastel was the winning bottle in the August Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. This bottle was decanted for one hour.

Chateau de Beaucastel, located in Courthezon in the Southern Rhone Valley, has over 250 acres of organic vineyards. Unlike many Rhone Valley producers, Beaucastel grows all 13 of the grapes permitted in the appellation and the estate uses an unusually high percentage of Mourvèdre in its red wines, usually around 30%, along with 30% Grenache and smaller amounts of Syrah, Counoise, Cinsault, Vaccarese and Muscardin. The estate’s most prestigious wine, Hommage a Jacques Perrin, is made with 70% Mourvedre. Several families have owned the estate over the course of its 400-year history and the present owners are the Perrin family, whose ownership of the estate dates to 1909.

Deep red in color. 14% ABV. Somewhat subdued nose of red fruits, herbes de Provence, menthol and garrigue. Medium body with medium to strong acidity. Cherries, iron, white pepper and licorice on the palate. The finish is long with refined tannins. Even at 12 years of age this wine seems a touch primary. I expect more secondary characteristics in the years to come. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 92 points.

Current vintages of Beaucastel including the ’13 are widely available at retail and a good buy in the $75 range.

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1995 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in the Rhone Valley, was founded in 1898 by Hippolyte Brunier. Located on the highest terrace of the appellation, the domaine was named for an 18th century telegraph relay tower located nearby. Today the 173-acre domaine is run by Daniel and Frederic Brunier, the great grandsons of the founder. Vieux Télégraphe is one of the appellation’s most admired estates. The vineyards are planted to 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault and other grapes.

Garnet in color. 14% ABV. Spectacular nose of iron, iodine, Herbes de Provence and dried cherries. On the palate the fruit is starting to fade ever so slightly but the wine has a sense of finesse and elegance. Flavors of cherries, cinnamon, iron and plums. The finish just lingers and begs you to reach for another sip. Gorgeous, traditional CDP that is ready to drink.

My rating: 93 points.

I previously wrote about Vieux Télégraphe in 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape: My Recommendations. The ’12 version of this wine is spectacular and still available at retail for about $60 per bottle. Happy hunting!

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1996 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

Chateau de Beaucastel, located in Courthezon in the Southern Rhone Valley, has over 250 acres of organic vineyards. Unlike many Rhone Valley producers, Beaucastel grows all 13 of the grapes permitted in the appellation and the estate uses an unusually high percentage of Mourvèdre in its red wines, usually around 30%, along with 30% Grenache and smaller amounts of Syrah, Counoise, Cinsault, Vaccarese and Muscardin. The estate’s most prestigious wine, Hommage a Jacques Perrin, is made with 70% Mourvedre. Several families have owned the estate over the course of its 400-year history and the present owners are the Perrin family, whose ownership of the estate dates to 1909.

Light crimson in color. Almost translucent. 13.5% ABV. Subtle nose of cherries, iron and Herbes de Provence. Delicate and ethereal on the palate. Flavors of blood, kirsch, dried plums and garrigue. Still solid on the finish even at 20 years of age. This wine has aged beautifully. A triumph for the vintage. Clearly ready to drink.

My rating: 92 points.

Current vintages of Beaucastel including the ’09 and ’10 are still available and were a buy for me in the $80 range.

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2006 Domaine de la Janasse Cuvée Chaupin – Bottle Notes

The 2006 Janasse Chaupin was the winning bottle in the November installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was decanted for two hours.

Domaine de la Janasse is located in Courthezon, in the Southern Rhone Valley, and it is one of the region’s brightest stars. The Sabon family has been growing grapes in the valley for several generations, but it wasn’t until 1973 that Aime Sabon began making wine under the name Domaine de la Janasse. The wines became truly noteworthy in the 1990s, after Aime’s son Christophe graduated from oenology college in Beaune and returned to the domaine bringing new ideas about wine production and viticulture. Janasse owns 136 acres of vineyards divided into 15 parcels, and also makes Cotes du Rhone and white wines, all of which are praised by reviewers.

Purple in color. 15.5% ABV. Gorgeous nose of cassis liqueur, molten licorice and red fruits. Incredibly silky and plush on the palate. Full bodied with more than enough acidity to keep everything in balance. Flavors of kirsch, garrigue, cocoa and minerals. Immensely concentrated with a breathtaking finish. Drink over the next 5-7 years.

My rating: 95 points.

Current vintages of Janasse Chaupin will set you back about $85. Be on the lookout for vintages like ’04 and ’06 which can be had for $50-$60 on WineBid. Both represent great value in today’s market.

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2003 Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

Vieux Donjon was formed in 1966 by Marcel Michel. The current iteration came about in 1979 with the marriage of Lucien and Marie José Michel. Both Lucien and Marie José’s parents owned vineyards in the region, and those holdings were combined to form Vieux Donjon. The domaine covers fourteen hectares of vineyards, thirteen planted to red grapes and one planted to white.

Dark crimson in color. 13.5% ABV. Perfect nose of red fruits, iron and herbes de Provence. Sweet and lush on the palate. Flavors of kirsch, maraschino cherries, iodine and blood. If there is any fault here it is that the wine tails off ever so slightly on the finish. I’m not getting the stewed notes many associate with the ’03 Vieux Donjon. Like many ’03’s I think this wine is best consumed in the near term.

My rating: 91 points.

The 2012 version of Vieux Donjon can currently be bought at retail for around $60 and should have a place in your cellar.

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2003 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Bottle Notes

The 2003 Clos des Papes was the winning bottle in the July Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was briefly decanted and served with Beef Stew on a stormy Summer night in Seattle.

Clos des Papes is owned by the Avril family, now headed by Paul Avril and his son Vincent. The family has been making wine in Chateauneuf-du-Pape for 300 years. The name Clos des Papes comes from the fact that the original vineyard was part of a papal estate located inside a chateau. The Avril family now owns parcels through the Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation, giving the estate a total of nearly 90 acres of vineyards planted mostly to Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah.

The wine is light crimson in color and checks in at a modest 14.5% ABV. Soaring nose of ripe red fruits, grilled meats, white pepper and iron. Dense, concentrated and immensely powerful. Full bodied with more than enough acidity. Super fresh with exceptional balance. Garrigue, kirsch, pepper, raspberries and strawberry liqueur on the palate. The finish is exquisite. For my money there is nothing controversial about this wine. Great bottle from a great producer. Exciting Châteauneuf-du-Pape that will continue to develop for at least another 5-7 years. In retrospect I should have decanted this wine for more than 30 minutes. What a blockbuster!

My rating: 96 points.

Current vintages of Clos des Papes are readily available. Look for the the 2010-2012 but expect to pay upwards of $125 per bottle.

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