Category Archives: Syrah

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.

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.


Fall NJ Trip

Moby and I took a half day Friday to take a trip down to visit Aunt, Uncle, and Cousingrape last weekend. We ate great food and drank fantastic wine making a perfect weekend. We also stopped by wine library and stocked up on Champagne and Cotes du Rhone. Here’s the wine lineup along with a few blurry pictures in here and some wonderful hand modeling by Auntgrape and Mobygrape:

2007 Domaine Bruno Clain Corton-Charlemagne

2007 Domaine Bruno Clain Corton Charlemagne

NV Albert Boxler Cremant

Albert Boxler Cremant

2010 Domaine Blain Gagnard Chassange-Montrachet

2010 Chassange-Montrachet Domaine Blain-Gagnard

1988 Chapoutier Cote Rotie

88 Chapoutier Cote Rotie

1990 Campo Delle Piane Boca

90 Campo Delle Piane Boca

1989 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron

89 Pichon

1990 Chateau Leoville Barton

90 Chateau Leaoville Barton

For me the wine of the night was hands down the 1989 Pichon. With the wine market the way it is Moby and I do not have the luxury of drinking mature Bordeaux regularly but thanks to Unclegrape it’s a special treat every so often. The tannis had melted away leaving structured and delicious fruit. From nose to finish you get a complete wine experience, just outstanding. I’ve developed a taste for younger Bordeaux but honestly it’s not even close…if you have the will power age your Bordeaux. Be patient, it’s worth it. Moby really enjoyed the Cremant as well. Light, refreshing, not as big as a Champagne it’s a great aperitif. We’ll definitely be having more Cremant in the future.

You may have noticed the oddball Nebbiolo in our otherwise French theme. I found this bottle at Vin Bin recently and brought it along. We enjoyed it quite a bit and will be purchasing a few more bottles. It wasn’t a fair fight vs. the 89 Pichon however a delicious mature Nebbiolo at $65 is a steal.

Plate of the Trip:

foie gras NJ

Foie Gras from Le Rendez-Vous Bistro. Wow. Perfectly cooked, creamy, melt in your mouth liver with a balsamic reduction and carmelized apple. There’s a strong possibility this was the best plate I’ve had all year.

Purchase of the Trip:


Completely unnecessary yet completely necessary at the same time. Aunt and Unclegrape have two parrots so this was the perfect purchase. Does it work? Who cares…It’s a Corkatoo and it’s hilarious.

2010 Louis Barruol Cote Rotie Les Roses

2010 Les Roses Cote Rotie 2IMAG0506

A Wine Library treat recommended by Ian for $60. I love French Syrah so I’ve been looking forward to this bottle for a while:

colonelgrape: 92. Barnyard (a la 95 Chateau de Beaucastel), ash, wood, cassis, roasted fruit, roasted meat, hint of coffee on the nose. Dark, seductive purple and black color. A very young Cote Rotie. Solid tannins due to it’s age but with an hour of aeration it opened up a bit but still tight. Perfect with grilled lamb chops, fatty beef or game. No brett though despite the interesting nose. A lovely long finish. Definitely a wine drinkers wine. The plethora of flavors will fall into the structure with age, I’d love to taste this again in 5-7 years.

MobyGrape: 86. All right so initially I had some fantastic brie-like cheese with this wine and it just didn’t work.  The cheese had a little kick to it, so did the wine, and together they just didn’t play well together.  It was a totally different story with lamb chops however.  The meat did its thing, the wine did its own, and everyone was happy.  It smelled pretty farty at first, eventually that turned into a subtle dirty odor, and the Colonel was spot on when he identified the taste as “barnyard”.  As the night went on and without any fat from the lamb the wine got a little more sour but was balanced enough to not be annoying.  Be warned – This is not a wine to drink if you’re not into wine.  And by into wine I don’t mean the occasional foray into Boone’s Farm (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but you’ll be miserable wondering why you’re drinking a sour fart.  If you’re a wine person though, you’ll probably enjoy this.

2007 Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone


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.