Category Archives: Mourvedre

2001 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape

2001 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape

 

Now here is a wine I can get behind. I am a huge Beau fan and the 2001 is my favorite vintage of the past 20 years. 00, 98, and 95 are great and I think the 2010 has serious potential. With all Beau beware of brett…especially in the 95. I really liked where this wine was when we drank it. The nose and flavors on the palate were a perfect match: dark fruits and spices leading into rich earth and leather….classic CdP. Tannis are just right. Great layers and complexity on the palate…makes you completely forget it’s 13.5% alcohol. The finish is long and strong (ha) wrapping up the experience in a nice little bow. This is ready to drink now…right where I like my CdP…but still has plenty of time left. One of the best wines of 2013. Right now I’m leaning towards 89 Pichon, 01 Beau, and 99 Montruc as my top 3.

Advertisements

2009 Domaine les Hautes Cances Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne

2009 Cairanne Cotes du Rhone

 

colonelgrape: 91. This was bigger than expected. Spices, leather, dark fruit on the nose. Medium body with surprisingly complex structure. In fact I would recommend letting this decant for 30-60 minutes. The finish was smooth, slightly strong since we didn’t decant. This a great example of Southern Rhone wine at an affordable price. There are very few wine regions where you can enjoy this quality (Rhone, Piedmont) for $20 and under. CdR should be in every red wine drinkers arsenal…you simply cannot beat the value.

MobyGrape:  85. Smells nice and musty at first, with a strong, admittedly less pleasant boozy finish.  Tasted dirty enough to keep me happy, maybe a little grassy at the end, overall a solid wine for an everyday meal. Definitely a keeper.

 

2007 Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone

Image

Moby and I grilled up some steak tips the other night and felt like having something special so pulled out this bottle of 2007 Perrin Reserve I’ve been saving for a few years. I can’t stress enough how fantastic a bottle this is for the price…absolutely outstanding. It’s not going to compete with a $100 bottle of Chateau de Beaucastel but for $10 you get a lot of the same qualities of a good bottle at a fraction of the price. This bottle showcased the 2007 vintage showing off the bold and upfront ripe fruit flavors. This is the perfect bottle to bring to a party and wow the guests. There probably aren’t too many bottles of 2007 kicking around but I’d lock up some 2010’s and save them for a rainy day as those are great buys as well.

Dinner Grape Style Part II

The gang was back together again at Aunt and UncleGrape’s house on Saturday night for another spectacular dinner. We were joined by CousinGrapette, BoyfriendGrape, as well as SisterGrape who took a trip from school to join us. Fresh off our trips to Union Square, Eataly, and of course the Wine Library we got to work on dinner. Here was our menu:

Appetizers: Smoked duck breast, wild boar salami, goat cheese with rosemary olive sourdough bread, daikon radish with hummus or spicy brown mustard and Hawaiin volcano sea salt.

Main Course: Roasted boneless leg of lamb infused with garlic and rubbed with spicy brown mustard.

Dessert: Italian cookies with pistachio cream spread and assorted chocolates.

NV Guy Larmandier Champagne2011 Gilbert Picq Chablis

With the appetizers we decided to go with French whites. We started with the NV Guy Larmandier 1er Cru Champagne which was crisp, light, refreshing and had just the right amount of bubbles. That was followed by the 2011 Gilbert Picq Chablis which was similar to the Champagne w/o the carbonation. I probably favored the Champagne over the Chablis and Moby did for sure. I learned that Vielles Vignes means old vines after I butchered trying to say it in front of UncleGrape who speaks fluent French. While the duck  and boar probably could have stood up to a light red the whites went well with everything. The duck was tender with just the right amount of smoke and the boar had an interesting sweetness to go along with good texture. The goat cheese paired well with the bread for a creamy mouthful of food. The daikon was very interesting…to me it tasted like a crunch wafer made of mushrooms and onion but it worked well with the smooth hummus and red volcano salt. All the appetizers were promptly destroyed and it was time to move onto the main course.

April 2013 NJ CdP

Since I got my hands on some 1995 Chateau de Beaucastel recently I brought a bottle and we decided to go a horizontal tasting of 1995 Chateauneuf du Pape.

1. 1995 Domaine de Beaurenard Boisrenard

2. 1995 Chateau de Beaucastel

3. 1995 Domaine de la Janasse

We started the meal a little bit later than anticipated because we didn’t realize the lamb was still partially frozen in the center. Not a problem for the Grape family as we had plenty of wine to keep us busy. We started with the Boisrenard which was surprisingly still tight. UncleGrape explained that 1995’s were historically tight but while it still had solid fruit coming through a bunch of us thought this was a bit too tight still. I’d love to try it again in 5-10 years.

We then moved on to the Beaucastel which had a very distinct old bandaid smell to it. Sounds appetizing right? It was delicious! UncleGrape filled us in on the smell…it’s called “brett”. Brett is a type of yeast called Brettanomyces that can be found on the skin of fruit and therefore in wine. Small amounts of brett are generally regarded as good for the flavor of the wine however large amounts can cause problems. That being said the Beaucastel was very bretty. AuntGrape is notorious for loving bretty wines so it’s no surprise she loved it the most. We enjoyed it too and it was an educational experience.

Lastly we had the Janasse. Our last trip we had the 2000 which was good but not the best of the night however I’d argue for the 95 taking the show this time. I thought it had the most balance but not everyone agreed with me.

We couldn’t come to a consensus on the Chateauneuf like we did last time with the 2000 Charvin stealing the show. Here’s how we ranked them:

colonelgrape: 3-2-1

MobyGrape: 3-1-2

UncleGrape: 1-2-3

AuntGrape (brett lover): 2-3-1

Since Moby and I write the blog we’re going to declare the Janasse the winner but it was a split decision for sure. The one thing we all agreed on though is that the 1989 Parusso Bussia Barolo was the wine of the weekend. The Chateauneuf was great but the Barolo outclassed them all.

Cocchi Barolo Chinato

Last but not least AuntGrape treated us all to a very rare (and previously illegal in the United States) Italian digestif…Cocchi Barolo Chinato. Having never heard of it Moby and I were all in. We learned that Barolo Chinato is a standard barolo infused with spices and most importantly quinine which why it was illegal in the United States as that’s a drug found in prescription medications! The spices and quinine give it a gin like, piney taste to go along with some sweetness. On it’s own we weren’t huge fans but when paired with dark chocolate it was spectacular. Something about the combination worked wonders. We  also had the Italian cookies and pistachio cream spread which was crazy good. The spread was a honey like consistency but had a sweetness to go along with the strong pistachio taste. We liked the wine much better with the chocolate than the cookies and spread but we both would have eaten the spread right out of the jar it was that good.

We concluded our trip next morning by making breakfast with the duck, turkey, and pheasant eggs which was great. The duck was probably the most different having a huge yolk and slightly different texture, the others tasted similar to a chicken egg just different sizes. We learned about brett and Barolo Chinato, had great food, great wine, and spent time with family so all in all it was a great trip. Keep an eye out for that 1989 Parusso!!!

2010 Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape

2010 bosquet des papes cdp

colonelgrape: 93. This bottle didn’t wow me like the 2007 but this is a quality bottle. 2010 was a very strong year and this bottle is findable at $35-45. With top producers selling for $100+ this is a crazy good value. Tight and young, full bodied, black raspberry/cherry/and currant. Classic Rhone spices and earth. This is more in line with a typical CdP wheras the 2007 was more unique. It was approachable now but I think this will drink better in 5-10 years. For the price I’d recommend a case and cellaring it.

MobyGrape: 90. What a difference a few years make!  If you’re anything like me, you scoff at the snots that talk about “how much better the 2007 was than the 2008, and Buffy, can you gas up the jet?  I think I’ll weekend at the estate in Monaco!”.  Most of the time I think they’re full of it.  Sadly, I have to admit that it’s true.  The 2007 is night and day compared to this 2010.  They had some similar notes of #2 pencil but this one wasn’t as earthy and deliciously grungy.  Still a great drink though.  Now somebody find Buffy, the jet needs gas!