Category Archives: Mourvedre

2008 Chateau Mont-Redon Cotes du Rhone

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2008 was a notoriously inconsistent year in the Rhone Valley. You’ll often fine this vintage at a much lower price than the famous 2007 or 2010 vintages. While the wines are inconsistent this gives the potential to find a great wine for a bargain price. The best bet is to stick with the more well known producers in these off vintages. Chateay Mont-Redon is one of our favorites in Rhone and I’m always willing to give them a try. While we were in Switzerland we had a 2008 Vieux Telegraph Chateauneuf that was out of this world.

colonelgrape: 80. This wasn’t the super rare amazing 2008 we were looking for but it wasn’t bad. Considering the $12 price I was happy with the quality but I’ve had better Cotes du Rhone at this price point from the 2007, 2009, and 2010 vintages. We absolutely love the 2007 Chateau Mont-Redon Chateauneuf du-Pape and next time I see their CdR from another vintage I’ll be sure to pounce on it. If you see a 2008 and you’re looking for a table wine for an every day dinner this wine works just fine. If you’re trying to impress someone, try the 07 or the 10.

MobyGrape: 80. I once again epically failed a blind wine taste test.  But since whether I get it right or wrong never changes the outcome, (meaning I still get to drink it all), I’m not terribly broken up about it.  It smelled a little like foot, and had a rustic, earthy quality to it.  I hope it wasn’t expensive, I’d consider it a perfectly fine wine to crack out for a non-special occasion.  It was such a non-special occasion I can’t even remember what we ate with it.

2006 Les Vignes D’Alexandre Chateauneuf du Pape

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Our first…and our last…foray into inexpensive Chateauneuf du Pape. I found this bottle at Wegman’s for $27 and while that may not seem inexpensive, it is for CdP which runs $40+ for a decenet bottle. CdP producers typically focus on Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre but in the more inexpensive bottles you’ll see the focus shift to the lesser grapes of the region leading to inferior wines. In the long run if you see a bottle that’s priced significantly below the normal price range for that type there’s probably a reason. You might find a diamond in the rough but more often than not you’re going to be disappointed. When searching for value wines I recommend doing some research online or talking with trusted employees at the store.

colonelgrape: 64. I have to give this wine a below average rating. It’s not appalling, but it’s simply my least favorite Chateauneuf I’ve tasted to date. Not much to add to my initial statement other than if you’re going to drink CdP pay close attention to vintages, years, producers, and price. These are pricey wines right now and I’d recommend spending the extra $15-$20 to get a quality bottle.

MobyGrape: 75. I was underwhelmed by this one.  I’ve been so spoiled by the Colonel giving me great Chateauneuf’s I was surprised.  There wasn’t anything really wrong with it, just didn’t get me going like some of the others we’ve tasted.  I still ran around the house yelling “Chateauneuf du Pape!” over and over though, so at least there was that…

2007 Chateau Mont-Redon Chateauneuf du Pape

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Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…and they’re always glad you came.

Chateauneuf du Pape brings us back to 80’s television. It’s safe to say that Chateauneuf is our favorite wine region here at Grapestorm. It’s pricey but when you buy from a reputable producer in a good vintage you are in for a treat. It has body, structure, character, and it’s incredibly fun to say. Moby and I will literally walk around the house just saying “CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE” in our best hoity toity french voices for hours on end…we are that cool. It’s kind of a funky name so let me help you pronounce it properly: SHA-TOH-NUF DO PAHP.

Now that you know how to say it let’s talk about producers. Chateau Mont-Redon is not the best producer in CdP but their wines are of high quality at great value. A bottle of 2007 Chateau de Beaucastel, Vieux Telegraph, Vieux DonJon, or Rayas may cost you $100+ but this Mont-Redon was only $45 and worth every drop. Don’t get me wrong, the producers I just mentioned produce world class wines that are exceptional but they are tough to get your hands on at a reasonable price. One thing to be very careful of when buying a CdP is the cheap bottle from an unknown producer. These wines can be absolutely terrible and you’ve wasted $25. Why are they so bad? Because CdP is a blend of grapes (typically Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre…Cinsault, Counoise, Muscardin, Terret Noir, and Vaccarese are also allowed) and inferior producers use more of the inferior grapes to save money. I can’t recommend CdP enough but you need to do your research before going to the store. I have yet to have a good CdP that cost under $40. Our two favorite “value” producers are Chateau Mont-Redon and Bosquet des Papes.

Vintage is also very important when buying CdP. Wines can vary vintage to vintage in CdP more so than in other regions. Recent good vintages: 98, 00, 01, 05, 07, 10. Avoid any 02 or 08 you may find. 2007 was an especially interesting year in Chateauneuf du Pape…it was an extremely hot summer so the grapes were riper than normal producing a bigger,  more alcoholic, more fruit forward wine. Many people taut it as one of the best vintages of all time while some people don’t like it because it was so different. The way I see it if you like California Cabernet you’ll like 2007 Chateauneuf. You’ll have to be the judge for yourself!

colonelgrape: 97. Wow. This wine is out of this world and for only $45. A beautiful ruby color with smells of ripe plums and earth. On the palate it was medium bodied with tastes of ripe black fruits and berries with acidity to balance everything out. The tannins weren’t out of control but it was definitely more ripe and boozy than a usual CdP but it worked well. The finish was long and delicious. We had this wine with roast beef and mashed potatoes and it was a great pairing. This will stand up to roasted meat and vegetables all night long. One of the best wines I’ve had in recent memory at this price point.

MobyGrape: 96. The first thing that came to mind when drinking this wine is that it was sort of hollow.  Like there was an excellent smooth flavor up front, gave your mouth an awesome party, and then sort of poofed and left a superb, lingering flavor.  And maybe it was all the wine or the poofing but all I could think of was David Copperfield.  This wine is like David Copperfield.  You get a magical show that will dazzle your tastebuds and then poof!  The sip of wine is already gone but the flavor is still deliciously hanging around and somehow he pulled a duck out of a hat.  Bravo!  I’m told 2007 was a bit of a goofy year for Chateaneuf’s, and some people aren’t a fan.  I think I should change my rating because you know what, maybe no one else should drink this, I don’t want anyone risking it.  I’ll just take one for the team and drink all of them myself.  Go ahead, send all of your 2007’s to me.

Dinner Grape Style

When we get together with AuntGrape and UncleGrape we tend to have a fantastic feast and this weekend was no different. We spent the majority of Saturday preparing the food and visiting the Wine Library. CousinGrapette and BoyfriendGrape made guest appearances as well. Here was our menu:

Appetizers: Goat and blue cheese with crackers, Gougere

Main Course: 14 rib pork crown roast with bread and pear stuffing

Sides: Twice baked potato casserole, broccoli with garlic and cheese, fresh gravy

Desert: Individual baked apple pastry

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If you’ve never had gougere you are simply missing out. A light, fluffy pastry made with gruyere cheese, they are heaven right out of the oven. I got the chance to make it myself and it’s not that complicated, Moby and I are most certainly going to be making it again when we host our next dinner.

UncleGrape was generous enough to share some of his wine with us and we were delighted to drink whites, reds, and port throughout the meal. Let’s talk wine!

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To start the evening we opened a delicious picpoul with the cheese and crackers and in my excitement I forgot to take a picture of the bottle. It was light, delicious, and inexpensive. Picpoul is a white grape grown in the Chateauneuf du Pape region of Rhone. When the gougere arrived we opened a 2006 Weinbach Gewurztraminer Cuvee Laurence from Alsace. This wine stole the show for Moby and myself. It was sweet, spicy, and coated the glass with it’s deliciousness. We wrapped up appetizers with a 2010 Dauvissat Chablis which is a chardonnay from Burgundy. It was light and fruity and a nice way to transition to the main course.

White wine rankings:

1: 2006 Weinbach Gewurztraminer Cuvee Laurence. This wine was so delicious that I’ve ordered more to have in the house. 2006 was no longer available but I was able to find 2009 and 2010. Stay tuned for a full review in the future.

2: Picpoul: I wish I had more info on this bottle but we’ll be trying another soon.

3: 2010 Dauvissat Chablis.

Onto the the reds. UncleGrape approached me and said “How about Chateauneuf’s tonight?” I smiled and nodded my head excitedly. Here’s what we had with dinner:

1998 and 2000 CdPs from Paul 1998 Font de Michelle CdP

UncleGrape didn’t let us down and served us 4 excellent CdP’s. We agreed on the first two rankings but we flip flopped on the last two…here’s how I ranked them:

1. 2000 Domaine Charvin

2. 1998 Domaine Font de Michelle Cuvee Etienne Gonnet

3. 1998 Vieux Telegraph

4. 2000 Domaine de la Janasse

All 4 wines were delicious but the Charvin was head and shoulders above the other three wines. A perfect balance of fruit, spice, and body it was the best CdP I’ve had to date…ahead of the 2007 Bosquet des Pape we rated earlier this year. I’m looking forward to trying more CdP from Domaine Charvin in the future.

While I was hard at work on the gougere Moby was slaving over the baked apples we had for desert. Each serving is half an apple stuffed with a mixture of butter, sugar, and spices and wrapped in a pastry crust. We used golden delicious apples and will 100% be making these again. They look like little bowling balls but were one of the lightest deserts I’ve ever had. They melted in your mouth and left you wanting more…serving them with vanilla ice cream made it even better.

With the apples we had a fantastic 1977 Taylors Vintage Port:

1977 Taylor's Vintage Port

UncleGrape started this decanting about 7 hours before we drank it and there was probably a solid 1-2 cups of sediment in the sink after pouring it into the decanter. However, it opened up beautifully…we were all shocked at how much life it still had left. It was ready to drink now but it could easily age longer. It had the delicious raisin taste I associate with port and was even better than the 1994 Graham’s we had earlier this year. Moby and I kept the bottle to add to our collection…maybe we’ll use it as a vase or a decoration in the future.

What a night. Family, friends, and 8 bottles of fantastic wine. We’re looking forward to our next trip already!

2010 M. Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone

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After we had the Beaujolais Nouveau debacle we still wanted wine of course so I went back downstairs and came up with this bottle. A simple $12 CdR that probably wouldn’t blow us away but also wouldn’t leave us wondering why us.

colonelgrape: 71. Like I said previously this bottle was meant to be a filler of sorts. Not gonna wow you but not going to hurt you either. After working through the bottle I’ll say I wasn’t too pleased with it but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt after sampling such awfulness with the Beaujolais Nouveau…I’ll say it was barely average.

MobyGrape: 72. Definitely not my favorite Rhone, but I was told not to expect much from this one anyways.  I’m not sure how accurately I can assess this one, after drinking something I disliked so much, I wasn’t going to give anything a fair shake.