Three CdP and a Ringer


Lou and I gathered outside to taste a small selection of Chateauneuf du Pape and one ringer. The 1978 Chapoutier, La Bernardine, Chateauneuf du Pape smells very good (it sports concentrated sweet aromas only brought by age) but the flavors do not deliver the same level of quality. The 1981 Monterey Peninsula Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Doctor’s Reserve, Monterey County smells OK but is interesting in the mouth. The nose certainly reflects the cooler climate of Monterey as do the tart flavors. A solid start.

The 2003 Les Cailloux (Brunel), Chateauneuf du Pape requires a bit of air to balance out. It is currently more complex and evolved (though will develop further) than the 2006 Domaine de Cristia, Chateauneuf du Pape. This later wine has good tension to support its future potential.

1978 Chapoutier, La Bernardine, Chateauneuf du Pape

Imported by Charles Lefranc Cellars. Alcohol 14%. In fine condition. Proper concentrated aromas are evocative of the 1960s and 1970s. In the mouth are bright flavors of tart, red fruit with bright acidity to carry it through. Unfortunately, the nose is more complex that in the mouth where the flavors hollow out at the finish. ** Drink Up.

1981 Monterey Peninsula Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Doctor’s Reserve, Monterey County

Alcohol 11.7%. Aromas of menthol and herbaceousness. A ripe hint in the mouth is soon followed by flavors of sweet tarts matched by chalky tannins. The wine builds in flavor, with the tart cherry core lasting throughout. An interesting wine. **(*) Now.

2003 Les Cailloux (Brunel), Chateauneuf du Pape

Alcohol 14.5%. The nose responds to air, improving with a deep note. It is initially quite ripe in flavor but this cleans up to reveal deep red, complex fruit, watering acidity, and ripe tannins. The fruit continues through the aftertaste. Quite enjoyable and certainly able to develop further over a few more years. ***(*) Now – 2032.

2006 Domaine de Cristia, Chateauneuf du Pape

Baking spices on the nose. More specifically Nuremberg Lebkuchen. A young, fresh wine which is ripe yet tense in balance with the acidity. The ripe, chewy tannins are attractive and so is the tangy acidity. In a markedly younger state than the Les Cailloux, it could stand further age to develop those bottle aged aromas and flavors. *** Now – 2035.

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