Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Chateauneuf-du-Pape, AKA: Old Faithful

The more I open wine for guests at the restaurant the more I realize that Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the most consistent and accessible of all the wines on my list. It’s deliciously spicy and brimming with sweet red fruit in its youth. Its funky, furry, rich, and without total shutdown of fruit in its mid-term. And it’s soft, earthy, sweet and nuanced in its maturity. It is a wine that in any stage of its life can be enjoyed and purchased with little trepidation on a restaurant wine list. And the best part is that the wines are usually very well priced considering their quality. My favorite Chateauneuf on the list at the moment is the 1997 Domaine de Pegau “Cuvee ReservĂ©e”. Not a great vintage but drinking so nicely at the moment that you could really care less what the critics say. It’s open and sweet with funky barnyard aromas (a good thing) and such deliciously soft Grenache flavors that would pair nicely with beef, lamb, chicken or duck. A truly versatile restaurant wine. If I had to say one critical thing it would be that it lacks a bit of structure and can be a little too soft, but considering the vintage this is an excellent effort.

1 comment:

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