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Theme – Southern Rhone

Food - Aïoli with fresh Ling Cod, Clams, Escargots and fresh vegetables

Pork paté with Provençal herbs, frisee greens salad, croutons, cornichons and onion jam

Grilled AAA Alberta New York steak with creamy peppercorn sauce, House French Fries

Cheese Plate

Other than the first wine, these were all Chateauneuf du Papes so to save my fingers I won’t be typing that in every time.

2005 Dom. de la Bacassonne – nice little white Rhone with a bit of saltiness in the nose, fresh with good acid and decent length but a bit of a flat spot before the end. Worked with the fish.

2000 Cuvee du Vatican Reserve Sixtine – very nice fruit based nose, soft tannins, excellent balance and rinks well now with a future ahead. I had only tasted this onece on rele3ase and it was much harder than this bottle. No rush, certainly, but those who have it might want to try a bottle as it is drinking much better than I’d have believed at this age.

2001 Vieux Donjon – black pepper in evidence, a hint of Bret and herbs, but the fruit was slightly candied. Very smooth and will hold well.

1978 Pere Anselme – Ha! you think – a low end producer and a wine that must have been dead! Not so – this was an unlabelled experimental bottle given to the person who brought it many years ago at the winery where they were playing about with various reserve bottlings, none of which ever saw the market as far as I know. This was lighter in colour (we had a lot of trouble judging colour as the lighting was set for ‘romantic’ level), a nice garnet, with an old mature nose, elegant in the mouth with sweetness and obvious maturity and even some tannin. Too bad they didn’t produce this as their regular wine! Me and another taster jumped in with the fact that it must be 70s and if so it had to be 1978 at the same time. Little doubt there.

2000 Clos de L’Oratoire – dark with warm fruit nose, medium body, good flavour intensity, medium length and the fruit quite fresh. Good showing. Nice old time label.

2001 Beaucastel – this one surprised us. Dark wine, ripe nose, powerful on palate with good length, a tad hot, quite forward and with the sort of international nose that had us wondering if it was a Chateauneuf.. Very forward – not a sign of closing down and I wonder if it ever will.

1989 Bosquet des Papes – a long haul old style wine, dark, ripe, still with significant tannin to the extent that we were thinking it a mid-90s wine. Good flavour concentration and length – an impre3ssive wine that I was delighted to find I still have in my own cellar. Don’t be in a rush with this one!

1998 Dom. de la Charbonniere Cuve Vielles Vignes – I am not familiar with this house.but was impressed by the wine. Lighter in colour than the previous wine, it had a much more elegant floral nose, some tannins, well balanced and a return of the tannin at the end. Not a big wine but a very pleasant wine.

1994 Dom. St. Benoit Cuve de Grand Garde – we finished up with another traditional wine of the ‘firm’ school. Good colour, a nose at first that threw some people (some never got over the barnyard even after some of it blew off), medium to full body, the tannins still lurking but now softening, and good length. Drinking well now and no rush. I liked the spice and dark fruit of this one. Amazingly, one taster nailed the house, which I think of as fairly obscure! Well done sir.

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