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2004 Chateauneuf du Pape


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A tasting of mostly 2004 Chateauneuf du Papes tasted double blind.

Vieux Donjon – colour on the lighter end of the spectrum, decent nose with some pepper, nice middle weight and some spice and pepper in the mouth. I thought it pleasant but ultimately a bit weak.

Janasse – darker with a hotter sweeter nose – some thought this might be the ringer we were told was lurking in the pack. Sweet entry, long finish with good acidity, but on the simple side.

Charbonierre Vielles Vignes – excellent fruit in the nose but not as sweet and heavy as the Janasse, medium body, soft tannin, medium length. Nice but not outstanding.

Duclaux – some nice things in this nose, but not very expressive yet and you had to search for them. Starts out OK on palate but the fruit falls off the edge and it ends badly. No cigar here.

Charbonierre – this one was $12 less expensive than the VV but scored about the same. Reticent nose, fruit but no pepper, good middle and sweet end, well balanced with sweet well integrated tannins.

2003 Vieux Donjon - thrown in to compare the previous vintage. warm violet and tar nose, not quite over the top for me but too ripe for some. Warm long tannic finish, and the nose was a bit oxidative which made us wonder about the future for this wine, although it was pleasant enough now for those that liked the style.

Dom..de l’Oratoire St. Martin Reserve des Seigneurs – a Cairanne from the 2004 vintage, at about half the price of the other wines came up 2nd or 3rd favourite in some pretty tough competition! Dark and peppery, classic garrigue nose, excellent concentration, fine tannins and good length. Great value! Should have seen the high syrah in retrospect.

Chante Perdrix – lighter than the last wine, with sweet fruit and leather nose (no Bret in evidence on any of them today), medium body, nice freshness and good length. Good showing.

Pegau – clear class of the bunch, very dark with a dark, even heavy ripe nose, quite a bit of tannin, huge wine needing lots of time but with all the elements to be very good. If you have this, don’t drink it now – it will drink pretty well, but you’ll be depriving yourself of a future treat!

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