Monday, April 18, 2005

Chateauneuf du Pape Tasting - April 2005

This tasting, our second CdP tasting, spanned four different vintages and included an Aussie surprise. Once again, the overall quality level was high, and the wines were wonderful. Here are the results:

First: 2000 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret, Cuvée Exceptionelle
The Vieux Lazaret was the closest thing to a unanimous rating that night – five first place and two second place rankings. This was not the most expensive – this cost me C$43.25 when I bought it in September of last year – so a clear ‘value winner’ as well. Interesting to note that this was my ‘second’ wine – a wine that I stuck in at the last minute because we needed a fifth bottle. Surprise, surprise! My notes suggest that this wine will continue to improve. (RP 91)

Second: 2001 E. Guigal CdP
A solid second place despite no first place finishes. A very narrow dispersion: two second place, four third place and one fourth place ranking. Clearly everyone liked it, but it lacked that ‘something’ that would put it into first (or fifth). My notes were pretty non-descript. A reliable crowd pleaser, perhaps? Good choice Cam! Not cheap, this was the second most expensive at C$58. (RP 92)

Third (tie):
1999 Domaine du Pegau Cuvée Reservé
1998 Clarendon Hills Grenache Clarendon Vineyard
The two oldest wines we tasted: my 1999 Domaine du Pegau Cuvée Reservé and Lloyd’s Aussie surprise, a 1998 Clarendon Hills Grenache Clarendon Vineyard.

Both had a wide dispersion of rankings – with ratings from first to fifth place, but the Pegau seeming to be more polarizing. According to my notes, this had wonderful aromas that weren’t backed up by the taste. This wine definitely required more time in the bottle – interesting as this was a 1999. This was my pride and joy – a sure fire winner, I thought. Sigh. Cost C$43.65 in October 2003. (RP 92)

The Clarendon also claimed a wide range of rankings. Note to Lloyd – you ranked it fourth! I was the lone dissenter on this one – I raved about it and gave it my highest ranking. According to my notes, what this lacked in aromatics it made up for in taste. I predict this will improve. Hooray! I have two bottles in my cellar. Lloyd claims C$40. (RP 93)

Fifth: 2000 Chateau de la Nerthe
The de la Nerthe was pretty consistent – four fifth place and two fourth place rankings. Don’t worry Pramod, Sofia ranked it second (must be love)! As Lloyd noted, he has had this before and really enjoyed it. Not a bad wine, but tough to compete with this stellar crowd. My only gripe with this wine was the price - this was the most expensive…(C$61) (RP 89)

Two CdP tastings, and both times the most expensive did NOT win. There are values to be had...