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Monday, September 28, 2009

Recent Munchings on a Chateauneuf sandwich vintage

'99, '04 and '06 are hype's forgotten children, but us Chateauneuf drinkers will be getting plenty of mileage out of them for years to come. They sure get more to the gallon than the super premium jobs, and they’re ready to roll fresh out of the shop. I’ve been dipping into my ’06 stash of late, and I think the vintage will continue to compare favorably w/ ’04 in quality, style & value.

Clos du Mont Olivet, Cuvee Papet '06

A heady, spice rack of a wine, w/ a healthy dose of black pepper, cut cedar, cassis and game aromas working their way from the stem. The wine is classically structured and chewy in the palate, w/ a bit more bite than most '06s, w/ a firm, peppery command punctuating the close. This has the burly type of spice one expects from a young Crozes Hermitage. If you're curious to pop a cork now, you best be bringing beef to the table, 91+ points.

Vieille Julienne '06 CDP

Tight at first, but as it airs the purity of the vintage begins to shine through in the shape of rose, lavender, dark chocolate, blueberry and cassis fruit. Dense and layered, gently unfurling its polished flavors w/ grace and ease. A textbook Julienne, full on flavor & tannin, yet fair on the palate. She's another pretty one, 93+ points.

Colombis, '06'

06 was a lovely vintage for Isabel Ferrando's line-up, w/ her newlest label showcasing a harmony between the finesse of a Pinot Noir and the flesh of Grenache. This medium ruby shaded red smells of potpourri, fig paste, cinammon & sweet cherry liqueur. The flavors tap-dance across the palate, w/ succulent texture, fabulous purity and an easy-going freshness. Great out of the gates, and sure to please over the next dozen years, 92 points.

*I purchased each of the previous 3 wines for under 40 dollars (and the Colombis for 20 and change!).

Charvin '06

This vintage played right into the hands of Laurent, providing plenty of forward, fresh fruit in a way that this domaine always seems to take full advantage of. '06 is easily a superior vintage to '05 and '04 for Charvin, w/ a lively bouquet of crushed raspberry, espresso roast, sweet cherry liqueur and spicy herb notes. The palate is pure, polished and as seamless as any Grenache based wine could hope to be, w/ an effortless vein of minerality pumping under the beam of pure cherry fruit. This is surprisingly precocious but should cruise in the cellar for 15 years w/o shutting down as the '01 has, 94 points.

Pegau '06

This is my first taste of ’06 Pegau since sampling it from barrel a while back. The scents burst at the seams, with a flurry of pepper, leather, garrigue and warm cassis notes swimming away from the stem. A seamless, mid-to heavy weight boxer in the palate, with its tannins packed away under a silky veil of earthy fruit. The finish lays down the most blatantly bloody flavor I've ever noticed in a wine, rich in iron and lingering like bits of beef wedged between the teeth, 94 points.

Thus far, the most impressive '06 I've had outside of Vieille Julienne's Reserve has been Clos des Papes. It was rip-roarin' yet again over the weekend, with all the pepper, kirsch and gorgeous cassis fruit one could hope for. The depth and length are tape-measure jobs, and I can see this one going the distance, 97+ points.

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