Our guest speaker was Steven Elphick who has been judging wine professionally since 1988 and has spoken at TVC tastings in the past. The full event description is available here.
Village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
2007 Château de la Gardine $ 37 “Perhaps the best buy is their 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition, which is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, and the rest Syrah and Muscardin. Their most traditional wine, it sees some aging in small oak barrels but virtually no new oak. Dense purple and soft, with luscious black currant and black cherry fruit, licorice, pepper, and garrigue, this wine displays some subtle smoke in a full-bodied, attractive, velvety style, with sweet tannin and plenty of glycerin and richness. This is a beauty that can be drunk now or cellared for 10-15 years.” 90/100, erobertparker.com, October 2009
2007 Patrick Lesec, Pierres Dorées $59 “…65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, and 15% Syrah that spends time in used, 1- to 4-year-old Burgundy barrels. Only 10% of the blend is aged in steel. It also includes a lot of stems during fermentation, but that is certainly not noticeable in either the aromas or flavors. Its dense purple color is followed by a sweet, floral-dominated nose of incense, soy, licorice, black fruits, meat juices, and bouquet garni. Deep, full-bodied and powerful as well as silky-textured, layered, and long, this beautiful wine should evolve for 10-15 years.” 94 pts, erobertparker.com, October 2009
2007 Cuvée du Vatican, Reserve Sixtine $54 55% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre from 50- to 105year-old vines. “I loved the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Réserve Sixtine, and this is probably the finest example of this cuvee since the 2003. Made from 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and the rest Mourvèdre, destemmed and aged in a mix of foudre, old barrels and small amounts of new barrels, it offers terrific purity in its black raspberry and cassis fruits, melted licorice and cured meat aromas and flavors. With full-bodied richness, beautiful mid-palate density and no hard edges, it’s a joy to drink today but will certainly keep for another decade or more. 95 pts, Jeb Dunnuck, erobertparker.com, Feb. 2017
2007 Domaine Giraud, “Tradition” $45 “Deeper-colored than Les Grenaches de Pierre, it offers beautiful, ripe black raspberry, licorice, cherry, roasted herb, and meat juice-like notes, full body, a voluptuous texture, and a superb finish that lasts for 40-45 seconds. A blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre from 70-year-old vines, all except the Syrah is aged in steel tanks and concrete. The Syrah component spends time in small barrels. It should drink well for 15 years. “ 93 pts, erobertparker.com, October 2009
2007 Clos St. Jean $42 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 4% Mourvedre, 3% Cinsault, 2% Vaccarese and 1% Muscardin. "Its dense plum/ruby/purple color is followed by a rich, sumptuous bouquet of crushed dried flowers, sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit, a voluptuous mouthfeel, broad, deep, concentrated flavors, and unbelievable purity, depth, richness, freshness, and vibrancy (a hallmark of this special vintage). Accessible and palate saturating, but never heavy or overbearing, this amazing wine should drink well for 15 or more years." (10/09) 92 points Wine Spectator: "Super ripe and friendly, but also sleek and refined, with a gorgeous mouthfeel to the black currant, crushed plum and black cherry fruit, all laid over black tea and shiso leaf notes. The finish is long and perfumey. Drink now through 2019." (Web 2009) ETA: July 2010. 94 pts RParker. 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar"
2007 Domaine De La Charbonniere Les Hautes Brusquieres $100 “60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. Vivid red. Bright, expressive bouquet of raspberry, blackcurrant, lavender and white pepper, plus a smoky Indian spice quality. Deep but impressively energetic red and dark berry flavors pick up notes of chewing tobacco and minerals with air. The finish repeats the red fruit and spice notes and lingers with impressive clarity and persistence. This is really lively for an example with so much syrah in the blend.” 93 points, Josh Raynolds, vinous.com
2007 Domaine la Roquète, Brunier $45 “The finest tradition cuvee yet made, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre aged in foudre and concrete tanks) possesses a deep ruby/purple-tinged color as well as a bouquet of black currants, black cherries, garrigue, pepper, and lavender. It is a full-bodied, ripe, exceptionally elegant, pure wine to drink now or cellar for 12-15 years.” 93 pts, erobertparker.com, October 2009
2007 Château de Beaucastel $92 “Beaucastel’s 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape has turned out even better out of bottle than I predicted. An inky/ruby/ purple color is followed by a glorious nose of blue and black fruits, truffles, pen ink, licorice, and meat juices as well as glorious levels of acidity and sweet tannin, buttressing the fruit’s fabulous freshness and vibrancy. This full-bodied effort still displays considerable tannin, no doubt because of the relatively high Mourvedre content. It should resolve its tannins in 2-4 years, and last for 25 or more. “ 96 pts, erobertparker.com, October, 2009.
How the wines were ranked