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2003 Rhone's To Stow Away


DCMark
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I was married (in France no less) in 2003 and the Rhone vintage is supposed to be excellent. So I would like to put some away. So far I have a future of Vieux Telegraph CdR. Any other ideas?

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I was married (in France no less) in 2003 and the Rhone vintage is supposed to be excellent.  So I would like to put some away.  So far I have a future of Vieux Telegraph CdR.  Any other ideas?

Well, I like Mont Redon as you will see in my story.

I also really like the wines from Soumade and Brusset and Pigeade's Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.

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2003, I am told, was a rather unseasonably hot year in the Rhone. I tasted through the Guigal La La's and found them freakishly large wines, high alcohol (but not hot), but drinkable even now. Production in the north was smaller than usual, so those wines (Hermitage, Cote Rotie, etc.) may be hard to find and expensive (even more so than usual).

In Chateauneuf, many of my friends are buying up all they can fine, but I've found the wines are a little too big (I'd bet the luxury cuvees like Bonneau Celestins, Capo and Perrin are clocking in at 16% or more).

I don't know what your budget is like or where you're now living, but here's a range of things that you might consider:

Expensive (and I mean really expensive)

Guigal La La's

Chave Hermitage

Pegau Cuvee de Capo

Brunel Cuvee Centenaire

Mid-range

Beaucastel CNDP

Pegau Cuvee Reserve

Marcoux CNDP

Clape Cornas

Basics

Guigal makes a basic line that is reasonable

Vieux Telegraph CNDP

Chateau de al Nerthe

Apologies for not including St. Joseph, Cote d Rhone or other recs. I don't know enough about them in the 2003 vintage.

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Thank you. I live in the US but will be purchasing the wines (hopefully) directly from the wine producer (or www.wineandco.com) and having them shipped directly to my in-laws in France. Since I am moving to France in 2006 it is silly to purchase them in the US and have them moved to France later.

Question: Why do you put Vieux Telegraphe as a basic? Kermit Lynch has it as a very good one for 2003.

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Only because here in Tokyo VT is quite a bit cheaper than most of the other CNDPs. The 1998 VT Le Crau was our house wine for a number of years, as we found it at a little less than USD300 per case.

Had the 2000 Bosquet du Papes Cuvee Grenache and the 2000 Janasse Cuvee Chaupin last night. The Janasse is a wine to look for. Don't know how the 2003 will be, but the 2000 is really lovely.

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As a wine "to put away", I don't know why one would pick a CDR at all - they have at most a 5 year lifespan, and in 2003, a hot, ripe, less acidic vintage, probably less. Certainly Muscat Beaumes de Venise is a terrible choice too, since Muscat doesn't really improve in the bottle (of course they are personal preferences to take into account, but I'm talking from a pretty traditional point of view.)

As for '03 Rhones to put away, since most people haven't sampled them yet (including me!), it's impossible to say. granted, due to the extreme ripeness of the year (the heat wave of '03) these wines probably won't be the longest lived of Rhone vintages, certainly not like 01 for instance will turn out as.

pick the best makers of the best AOCs you can, based on actually tasting them upon release.

that's the best advice.

Congratulations and best wishes for a long lived life together!!

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Thanks for your kind words and advice!

As a wine "to put away", I don't know why one would pick a CDR at all - they have at most a 5 year lifespan, and in 2003, a hot, ripe, less acidic vintage, probably less.  Certainly Muscat Beaumes de Venise is a terrible choice too, since Muscat doesn't really improve in the bottle (of course they are personal preferences to take into account, but I'm talking from a pretty traditional point of view.)

As for '03 Rhones to put away, since most people haven't sampled them yet (including me!), it's impossible to say.  granted, due to the extreme ripeness of the year (the heat wave of '03) these wines probably won't be the longest lived of Rhone vintages, certainly not like 01 for instance will turn out as.

pick the best makers of the best AOCs you can, based on actually tasting them upon release. 

that's the best advice.

Congratulations and best wishes for a long lived life together!!

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