France Trip Part 1 - Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Tasted June 16, 2006 - June 17, 2006 by Siggy with 1,923 views

Introduction

Four of us (Ben Andersen, Dave Dalluge, Kevin Sidders, and I) visited France for a nearly two-week tour through Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the northern Rhône, and Burgundy. It was the educational and hedonistic experience of a lifetime. For the first leg of the trip, we met up in Avignon, and tasted at nine domaines over two days. The 2004 Chateauneufs look to be excellent, with superb balance and acidity. 2005 looks like another legend in the making, exhibiting extraordinary power, richness, and complexity.

Flight 1 - Domaine de la Vielle Julienne (Day 1) (7 notes)

Red
2003 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Côtes du Rhône France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Tasted at the domaine. Great nose, turns a little green and acidic on the palate. Zin-like; tannic.
Red
2003 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Mosely Grenache; 5-10% each Syrah and Mourvedre. Huge garrigue nose. Good acidity, high tannin. Some prune flavors. Very fragrant.
Red
2004 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Côtes du Rhône France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Tasted at the domaine. Purple color. Very inky and young. Lighter and softer than the 03 CDR VV. Promising -- it will be very interesting to try this in 3-5 years.
Red
2004 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
This includes Reserve fruit, as there is no separate cuvee in 2004. Deep purple. Plummy, jammy fruit. Very good acidity. Mocha, chocolate, and garigue. Better than the 2003.
Red
2001 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Soft plummy fruit, not as much tannin or structure as I would have expected. May be in an awkward phase; still very good.
Red
1998 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Production less than 10 hl/ha. Amazing nose -- mocha and chocolate. Great balance. Concentrated raspberry fruit. Earth, animal fur, mocha. Wonderful harmony and balance; long, smooth finish. Fantastic.
Red
2003 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Wow! Amazing nose. Sweet plummy fruit, chocolate, garrigue, and prunes. Cherries and baking spices - so much going on here. Amazing balance and finesse. Smooth, ultra-fine tannins. A more toned-down 2003, reflective of this producer's northern terroir. Fantastic.

Flight 2 - Domaine du Pégaü (Day 1) (5 notes)

Red
N.V. Plan Pégau Vin de Table Français Lot 2005 France, Vin de Table Français
Tasted at the domaine w/ Paul Feraud. This was just being bottled during our visit. Good nose, brambly. OK; not especially memorable.
Red
2005 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Cask sample tasted at the domaine w/ Paul Feraud. Wow, this has serious dark fruit and structure. Wild, wooly, and bloody. Very promising.
Red
2004 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Cask sample tasted at the domaine w/ Paul Feraud. Animal fur, deep red fruits, garrigue, blood. Great balance and finesse. Looks to be awesome.
Red
2003 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Paul Feraud. This bottle had been open for 5 days, so it was a little hard to evaluate. Seems to have lush fruit, no roasted or pruned flavors, and tons of structure and power. Delicious.
Red
2003 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée da Capo France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Cask sample tasted at the domaine w/ Paul Feraud. Some 2003 Capo has been bottled; this was still in cask. Huge, thick fruit. Lush texture, amazing power and structure. Really too young. Incredible.

Flight 3 - Domaine Pierre Usseglio (Day 1) (7 notes)

Red
2001 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Thierry Usseglio. Dark, meaty fruit. Traditionally styled. Garrigue and roasted meat. Great finesse and balance. Excellent and a great QPR.
Red
2003 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Thierry Usseglio. 80% Grenache. Kirsch liquor and licorice; some heat. Good fruit, but atypically low acidity, reflective of the vintage.
Red
2004 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Thierry Usseglio. 90% Grenache; no Syrah this year. Kirsch liquor. More acidity than the 03. Still closed and tough to evaluate.
Red
2004 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Thierry Usseglio. 100% Grenache; in bottle 1 month. Raspberry fruit. Spicy licorice, huge garrigue, cherry liquor. Good acidity; very elegant. Fantastic.
Red
2005 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel sample tasted at the domaine w/ Thierry Usseglio. 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault. To be released Spring 2007. Great -- pure jammy fruit. Seems to have lots of structure and excellent balance. Looks very promising.
Red
2005 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel sample tasted at the domaine w/ Thierry Usseglio. 100% Grenache; 16.5% alcohol; production 20 hl/ha. Beautiful. Inky raspberry fruit, licorice, kirsch. Looks to be amazing.
Red
2005 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Deux Frères France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Three separate component barrel samples tasted at the domaine w/ Thierry Usseglio, who told us that we were the first to taste them. #1 (Grenache from La Crau and Serres) was incredible, showing thick smoky fruit. #2 (Grenache) had bright red fruit and more acidity. #3 (Syrah) showed incredible minerals and smokiness. This should be an unbelievable wine when bottled!

Flight 4 - Château de Beaucastel (Day 1) (7 notes)

White
2004 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Sweet green apple and honey. Nice, if somewhat straightforward at this stage.
White
2004 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Roussanne Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. 100% Rousanne. Honey and pear, with some interesting jasmine notes. Floral and delicious.
Red
2003 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Tasted at the domaine. Smoky fruit, showing some prunes and heat. A decent CDR, but somewhat one-dimensional.
Red
2003 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Smoky notes and stewed, raisiny fruit. This wine had a roasted character and showed some heat. Compared with some of the other 2003s we tried on our visit, this bottle was not impressive.
Red
1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Awesome. Amazing minerality -- flint and smoke. Bitter chocolate and lush, deep fruit. Still seems incredibly young. Wow!
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Red
1995 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Huge bretty nose that blew off quickly. Young and dark. Lush black fruit, with some baking spices and lots of minerality. Delicious.
White
1990 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Easily the oldest CDP blanc I've ever tasted. Gold/copper/orange color. Beautifully mature. Nutty, mellow, smooth.

Flight 5 - Domaine de la Janasse (Day 1) (12 notes)

Red
2005 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Les Garrigues France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Barrel sample tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. Still finishing fermentation. 80 year old vines. Dense black cherry fruit. Hard to believe this is "only" a CDR. Excellent potential.
Red
2005 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel sample tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. This was a 100% Grenache component. Animal fur on the nose. Dense plums and cherries. Cola. Big structure and acidity. Teeth-staining. Excellent potential.
Red
2005 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel samples tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. We tasted two 100% Grenache components: #1 showed inky, dense fruit, with huge tannin and structure. #2 showed strawberries and blackberries, with similarly massive amounts of tannin and structure. Another very promising 2005 in the works.
Red
2005 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel sample tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. 100% Grenache; still undergoing fermentation and tasted at 6g sugar. Sweet, brambly blackberry fruit. Incredible power and structure.
Red
2004 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Villages Terre d'Argile France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages
Tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. Recently bottled; equal parts Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Fantastic CDR with deep black fruit and lots of fine-grained tannin.
Red
2004 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Les Garrigues France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. Inky black color. Spicy and animaly. Good finesse.
Red
2004 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. Difficult to evaluate at this stage. Seems to have lots of fruit, tannin, and structure, but closed for business.
Red
2004 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. Intense raspberries, animal, and licorice notes. Really nice minerality. Round texture. Excellent.
Red
2004 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. Wow, this is a concentrated, burly wine. Loads of black cherry and chocolate. Excellent.
White
2005 Domaine de la Janasse Viognier Vin de Pays de la Principauté d'Orange Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vin de Pays de la Principauté d'Orange
Tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. An excellent Viognier. Medium-bodied and fruity, with a soft, round mouthfeel.
White
2005 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. Un-oaked, showing a medley of fruits, flowers, and a hint of white pepper. Very good.
White
2004 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Prestige France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Christophe Sabon. Crisp, fresh peach and orange fruit; light zesty spices. Very good.

Flight 6 - Dinner @ Chateau Talaud, Loriol-du-Comtat (Day 1) (6 notes)

Red
1989 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Same bottle as Vinsanity. We opened this during a long outdoor dinner at our B&B, the Chateau Talaud, in Loriol-du-Comtat. This was a fabulous wine, with still-youthful black fruit and wonderful tobacco/leather secondary characteristics that have blossomed with bottle age. Great balance and structure; long finish.
Red
1983 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Laurence France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Same bottle as Vinsanity. Another treat enjoyed over dinner at Chateau Talaud. We opened this right after the 1989 Janasse VV, and it was fascinating to compare the two. The Pegau had a lighter color, with more high-toned fruit. Lots of animal, leather, and still-vibrant red fruit. Amazing finesse. Fantastic.
Red
1976 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Same bottle as Vinsanity. A treat from our hosts at Chateau Talaud over dinner. Light ruby color with lots of amber. This still had quite a bit of life left. Fairly light body, with cherries and flavors of tea that reminded me of the 1983 Beaucastel I had a few months earlier. Fully mature and fascinating.
Red
1995 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Same bottle as Vinsanity. Another treat from our hosts at Chateau Talaud over dinner. Wow, this was quite a contrast to the bottle we tasted at the domaine earlier that day. It had all the power of the first bottle, but seemed richer and more open. Perhaps this was stored in slightly warmer conditions?
Red
2000 Domaine de la Mordorée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Same bottle as Vinsanity. Tasted side-by-side with the 2001. This wine didn't quite live up to the 1998 that I tasted several months ago. Definitely some oak and perhaps a touch of heat. Tons of power, black licorice, and deep fruit. Not quite as precise, minerally, or fragrant as the 2001 that followed.
Red
2001 Domaine de la Mordorée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Same bottle as Vinsanity. Wow, this was a huge treat. Awesome concentration and power, without any heaviness or heat. Rich blackberry fruit, excellent acid balance and minerality. This needs at least 10 years to begin to unfold and show its stuff, but it is incredibly delicious now.

Flight 7 - Domaine La Millière (Day 2) (4 notes)

Red
2003 Domaine La Millière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Fresh clean fruit, earth, and minerals. Not roasted at all. This region of CDP didn't get quite as baked in 2003, and the results here are impressive. Excellent.
Red
2004 Domaine La Millière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. This had been bottled the previous week, and was undoubtedly still bottle-shocked. More spice than the 2003. Garrigue. Very nice acidity and concentration. Seems very promising.
Red
2005 Domaine La Millière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel samples tasted at the domaine. Vat #3 (sandy soil, south facing): sweet jammy purple/black fruit. Soft texture. Rich. Excellent. Vat #5: totally different -- deeper and spicier. Horse/barnyard notes, along with rich spicy red cherries. A 50/50 potential blend was fantastic. It looks like this domaine has a great 2005 in the works.
Red
2001 Domaine La Millière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Animal and cinnamon notes. Violet and cherries. Excellent structure and balance.

Flight 8 - Retail tasting in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Day 2) (7 notes)

White
2005 Domaine de Nalys Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
White flowers. Light and fruity; soft and round. Very nice.
White
2005 Saint-Henri (Negociant) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
More rich and honeyed than the 2005 Nalys that proceeded it. Apricot/floral notes.
Red
2004 Domaine de la Presidente Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Shows some new oak; made in a more modern style. Ripe and soft. Vanilla flavors. Not a fan. Yuck.
Red
2004 Saint-Henri (Negociant) Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Kirsch. Straightforward and simple. Brown sugar. Yuck.
Red
2001 Domaine de la Côte de l'Ange Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Good nose. Mushroom, slight brett, some spice. Light and thin on the palate.
Red
2001 Bosquet des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Tradition France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
flawed
Odd. Maderized nose. Yuck. Clearly this was a flawed bottle.
Red
2001 Domaine St. Benoit Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Truffière France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Prunes and plums. Earthy. Soft and round in the mouth. Tar and black licorice. Good acidity.

Flight 9 - Bois de Boursan (Day 2) (7 notes)

White
2005 Domaine Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Some grassy and tropical fruit notes. Only OK.
Red
2005 Domaine Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel sample tasted at the domaine. Lots of Mourvedre. Soft, a little acidic. Smoke and animal fur notes. Not much fruit.
Red
2005 Domaine Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Félix France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel sample tasted at the domaine. 90 year old vines. Still undergoing malo. Dense and reduced. A little brett. Very tannic. Tough to evaluate at this stage.
Red
2004 Domaine Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Nose of roasted meat, olives, garrigue. Red fruits. Good acidity. Very good.
Red
2004 Domaine Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Félix France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel sample tasted at the domaine. To be bottled Sept. 06. Oddly reticent nose. Red fruit, stewed tomatoes, lavender. Good acidity. Concentrated and thick. Seems promising.
Red
2003 Domaine Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Spicy, red brambly fruit and garrigue. Ripe but not raisiny/roasted. Medium body; a touch sweet. Good tannin and acidity. Seems better than the 04.
Red
2003 Domaine Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Félix France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Dark fruit and garrigue. Tobacco. Tannic; turns a little drying on the finish.

Flight 10 - Domaine de Beaurenard (Day 2) (9 notes)

Rosé
2005 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Côtes du Rhône Rosé France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Tasted at the domaine. Pink watermelon color. Very ripe and fruity. Tasty. One of the better Roses I've had.
White
2005 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Dry, floral, and aromatic. Light and crisp in style. A touch of butter. Not as racy and acidic as some other CDP Blancs, but pleasant. Long finish.
Red
2003 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Côtes du Rhône France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Tasted at the domaine. Game, black licorice, garrigue. Tannic. Very good.
Red
2003 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Rasteau France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Rasteau
Tasted at the domaine. Moderately reticent nose. Big and raisiny, with lots of tannin.
Red
2002 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Light color and body. Simple garrigue notes. Drying tannins. Not much there.
Red
2004 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Black pepper. Brambly cherry fruit. Not as rich or lush in style. Fiercely tannic.
Red
2005 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barrel sample tasted at the domaine. Huge, sweet, spicy cherry fruit. Massively tannic. Clean style. Seems very promising.
Red
2003 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Candle wax on the nose. Clean blackberry/cherry fruit. Chocolate covered raisins. Very concentrated.
Red
2004 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine. Cinnamon galore. Rich, deep black and red fruit. Kirsch/cherries. Seems to have a lot of oak, but actually only 20%. Excellent.

Flight 11 - Domaine Gerard Charvin (Day 2) (7 notes)

Red
2005 Domaine Charvin Côtes du Rhône (Le Poutet) France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Cask sample tasted at the domaine w/ Laurent Charvin. We tried three 100% Grenache components. Bin #10: smoky, not a lot of fruit, lots of drying tannin. Bin #5: Fragrant, much richer fruit. Bin #8: Lots of licorice and concentrated cherry fruit. It will be interesting to taste the final blend once bottled.
Red
2005 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Cask sample tasted at the domaine w/ Laurent Charvin. We tried two 100% Grenache components. Bin #14: great aromatics, cocoa powder, dried cherries. Bin #12: more structure and earth. Seems very promising.
Red
2004 Domaine Charvin Côtes du Rhône (Le Poutet) France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Tasted at the domaine w/ Laurent Charvin. Soft black cherry and licorice. Smoke and earth. Nice structure. Very good.
Red
2004 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Laurent Charvin. Bottled just a few days prior to our tasting. Excellent fruit and balance. Pure cherry fruit. A little earthy. Excellent.
Red
1995 Domaine Charvin Côtes du Rhône (Le Poutet) France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Tasted at the domaine w/ Laurent Charvin. Amber color. Dried leaves, a touch of brett. Dark brambly fruit. Tobacco and tea notes. A delicious, fully mature wine what speaks to the ageability of CDR.
Red
2003 Domaine Charvin Côtes du Rhône (Le Poutet) France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Tasted at the domaine w/ Laurent Charvin. Youthful ruby. Soft cherry and plum fruit, with some earth. Very good.
Red
2003 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Tasted at the domaine w/ Laurent Charvin. Dusty plum fruit. A little raisiny and diffuse. I liked the 2003 CDR better.

Flight 12 - Dinner @ Le Grand Pre, Roaix (Day 2) (3 notes)

Red
1994 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Dinner @ Le Grand Pre, Roaix. Same bottle as Vinsanity. Wow, for a base-level wine from an unheralded vintage, this was a real eye-opener. Deep dark fruit, with leather, forest floor, and dried leaves. Medium-bodied, fragrant, light on its feet. Excellent.
Red
1989 Domaine les Goubert Gigondas Cuvée Florence France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas
Dinner @ Le Grand Pre, Roaix. Same bottle as Vinsanity. Amazingly youthful nose of roasted meat and black fruit. Light to medium body, with amazing finesse and elegance. Fully mature. Fantastic.
Red
1985 Domaine les Goubert Gigondas Cuvée Florence France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas
Dinner @ Le Grand Pre, Roaix. Same bottle as Vinsanity. Oh my goodness, this was a fabulous wine. Amazing minerality, complexity, and elegance. Red fruits, forest floor, and meat. Super-long finish. Fully mature. Fantastic, and even better than the 1989 that we opened previously.
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