Buying Wine

Pick My Next Bottle – 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The February installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the the 2007 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened on Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate rated the ’07 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape 98 points. “This is the greatest vintage I’ve ever tasted in the southern Rhone” exclaimed Parker. The vintage was warmer than normal in Châteauneuf-du-Pape but cool nightime temperatures allowed the wines to maintain a unique freshness.

Eight years later the wines of the vintage are really coming into their own. Many though, criticize the hype bestowed on the vintage by Parker and think it has more to do with his taste for hedonistic wines. That being said I think it time to check in on a few of the bottles myself.

The Contenders

  • 2007 Cuvée du Vatican “Reserve Sixtine” – The blockbuster 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Sixtine (55% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre from 50- to 105-year-old vines) boasts an inky/purple color as well as a sensational perfume of camphor, graphite, black currants, black cherries, licorice, and smoke. Built like a young Bordeaux with its tannic structure, this full-bodied, intensely flavored wine reveals a meaty character in the mouth. As with most vintages since 1998, the 2007 requires cellaring. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2007 Le Vieux Donjon – Still backward and unevolved, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape (75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and 5% other authorized varietals) was aged completely in foudre. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a reticent, but burgeoning bouquet of black cherries, plums, black currants, garrigue, lavender, and licorice. One can sense the weight, power, and richness in the mouth, but the tannins are there, and the wine also has very good acids. Consequently, patience will be required, and this is one 2007 where 2-3 years of bottle age is warranted. The wine is capable of lasting 15-20+ years. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2007 Domaine Ferrand – An amazing effort, the 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape eclipses what I wrote about it last year. Every time I went back to it, the wine revealed more nuances as well as greater depth. Full-bodied and powerful, it exhibits a compelling bouquet of creme de cassis, ground pepper, incense, seaweed, garrigue, and licorice. The knock-out aromatics are followed by a wine with colossal richness, a multilayered texture, no sense of heaviness, an incredibly deep, penetrating palate feel, and a finish that goes on for 50+ seconds. Philippe Bravay is one of the most modest and serious Châteauneuf-du-Pape vignerons, and it is a thrill to see him hit a home run in this vintage…The dense purple-colored 2007 will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age, and last for 20-25 years. Bravo! 98 points from the Wine Advocate.

Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another.

Which 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape should I open?

  • 2007 Domaine Ferrand (43%, 13 Votes)
  • 2007 Le Vieux Donjon (33%, 10 Votes)
  • 2007 Cuvée du Vatican "Reserve Sixtine" (23%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 30

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Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the March Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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7 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  1. Not familiar with this name, and am curious, Tom. I love the Rhone and this appellation in particular. Curious to get your view of this vintage living up to the hype…

  2. I agree with Peter Vetsch: 2007 Domaine Ferrand for this month’s installment of “Pick My Next Bottle.” My reasoning: I think the other two candidates would benefit from a little more time in bottle.

  3. Voted for Ferrand, even though you couldn’t go wrong with any of the CDP’s. Ferrand because I am a sucker for balanced wines with LONG finishes & it sounded delicious. Almost voted for the Reserve Sixtine because I enjoy more Grenache in my CDP, & it was at 75% however. Enjoy Tom!

  4. Chose the Donjon because I was so close to pulling the trigger on buying that bottle last week for a tasting in fall. Chose the 06 Pierre Usseglio and Fils Cuvée de mon Aieul instead. I want to know what you think though. The note of “backward and unevolved” is probably what did it to me.

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