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Chapoutier, Chante Cigale, Coudoulet de Beaucastel, and More!


Lou and I recently gathered for an evening with mature wine.  I do not believe that mature wine need be great, rather they should be complete with additional flavors from bottle age.  Most of the wines we tasted were recent purchases with several priced in the range of daily-drinkers.  The 2002 Hauth-Kerpen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Saar Ruwer is one such example.  It is a rather solid wine that mixed fresh lemon and yellow fruit with just a hint of petrol in the beginning.  It was as if some of the grapes experienced botrytis.  The 1993 Chapoutier, Barbe Rac, Chateauneuf du Pape had more going on than the 1993 Coudoulet de Beaucastel, Cotes du Rhone.  Both of these wines will certainly last for years to come but the fruit in the Coudolet is almost receded.  The Chapoutier still supports flavors of fruit with its structure.   Lou immediately picked up on some TCA in the 2001 Coudoulet de Beaucastel, Cotes du Rhone.  I suspect I am less sensitive to this but I did think the Band-Aid aroma worked well with the sweaty aspect of the wine.  I would not hesitate to drink this vintage but am confident, like the 1993, it will chug along for many years to come.  For most of the evening the 1998 Domaine Chante Cigale, Chateauneuf du Pape was a small yet complete wine.  When I returned home I wanted to drink a glass of wine so I poured out the rest.  To my surprise the wine had blossomed, becoming a satisfying end to my evening.  This was not the last wine I tasted with Lou for that honor goes to the 2005 Chateau Pajzos, 5 Puttonyos, Tokaji Aszu. This bottle was a kind gift from a friend.  With clean flavors of peach and dried apricot I believe this wine will benefit from cellar age.  The acidity and residual sugar in are in balance so I would wait for the development of complexity.

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2002 Hauth-Kerpen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Imported by Valley View Wine Sales.  This wine is 100% Riesling.  Alcohol 8.5%.  The color had a youthful light straw with a yellow hint.  The nose developed fast with some funk morphing into fruit with some maturity.  There was a soft, rounded approach of lemon and yellow fruit flavors, a tangy bit, and citrus grip.  There was acidity in the beginning then a softer finish where earthy flavors came out.  The aftertaste was a bit short and left impressions of citric pithe.  *** Now.

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1993 Maison M. Chapoutier, Barbe Rac, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by Paterno Imports.  This wine is 100% Grenache sourced from vines 70 years of age at the time.  The fruit was fermented in concrete tanks then aged around 16 months in vats.  Alcohol 13.8%.  The nose was fresh with reasonable complexity.  In the mouth the red fruit made way to more complexity in the midpalate before a finish of dry red and black fruit mixed with wood box.  There were very fine, dry tannins that coated the gums.  It left a solid impression but after several hours of air it had more flavor and grip, along with a little density.  Nice.  This should last but I would drink it sooner.  *** Now-2016.

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1993 Coudoulet de Beaucastel, Cotes du Rhone
Imported by Vineyard Brands.  This wine is a blend of Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah which was fermented in tile-lined vats then aged in large oak barrels. Alcohol 12.5%.  There were dark red hints and scorched earth on the nose.  The flavors were brighter in the mouth.  The the wine itself had strength the flavors were more delicate.  There were mature, wood box flavors around a firm core of red fruit.  It was enlivened by salivating acidity.  With air it took on a tart lemon aspect.  Will last.  ** Now.

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2001 Coudoulet de Beaucastel, Cotes du Rhone
Imported by Vineyard Brands.    This wine is a blend of Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah which was fermented in tile-lined vats then aged in large oak barrels. Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was sweaty with a hint of band-aid.  In the mouth there were nice, firm red fruit flavors that were dry and had weight.  There was a tart red finish with lip-smacking orange citrus.  With air it became a touch rough in the back of the throat.  Though leaner in flavor it took on added complexity from minerals and black fruit.  A tart vein continued to run through it.  ***  Now-2016.

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1998 Domaine Chante Cigale, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by Vieux Vins Inc.  This wine is typically a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault.  Alcohol 14%.  The flavors were dense with some ripeness and gritty tannins.  There was a hint of heat.  The initial impression was of a small yet complete wine with juicy acidity that was fine for what it was.  It became rougher with air but then many hours later it blossomed.  **(*) Now-2017.

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2005 Chateau Pajzos, 5 Puttonyos, Tokaji Aszu
Imported by Country Vintner.  This wine is a blend of 38% Furmint, 27% Muscat, 19% Zeta, and 16% Harslevelu which was aged for three and a half years in 30% new Hungarian oak casks.  TA 10 /l.  RS 170 g/l. Alcohol 16.5%.  This had aromas of black tea and apricots.  In the mouth were peach flavors, dried apricot, salivating acidity, and a spicy hint in the finish.  There was a feeling of glycerin.  This is still primary and will benefit from bottle age.  **(*) Now-2024.

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