Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – A Wine for Thanksgiving

The November installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on some special bottles that might grace the table at Zinfandel Chronicles Headquarters this Thanksgiving. 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. I plan on opening the winning bottle on Thanksgiving and will publish a Bottle Note shortly thereafter.

As it pertains to vintages, 1998 for Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 1997 for Napa Valley and 1990 for Bordeaux, are without question some of the all time greats.

The contenders:

  • 1998 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe “La Crau” Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Between 1978 and 2007, this 1998 is the greatest Vieux Telegraphe that was produced. It has taken a good decade for this wine to shed its tannins and come out of a dormant, closed period. It has finally emerged, and notes of iodine, seaweed, black currants, incense, and sweet cherries as well as hot rocks jump from the glass of this full-bodied, powerful wine. It possesses considerable elegance and purity, along with loads of raspberries and incense, in a round, juicy, rich style that is just emerging from the closet. The wine is still youthful and a pre-adolescent in terms of its ultimate evolution. Approachable now, it will continue to evolve for another 15-20 years. Bravo! 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 1997 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red – The finest Proprietary Red produced by Pahlmeyer to date is their 1997… A super-rich, blockbuster effort, it exhibits an opaque purple color in addition to a fabulous bouquet of black fruits, espresso, cocoa, mocha, and flowers. A prodigious red, with low acidity, spectacular concentration, and fabulous purity as well as overall symmetry, it can be drunk now, but promises to last for 20-25 years. 98 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 1990 Leoville Barton – Believe it or not, the 1990 Leoville Barton can actually be drunk – something that cannot be said about the broodingly backward, still excruciatingly tannic 1982. The exceptionally concentrated 1990 reveals more polished, sweeter tannins along with a big, sweet kiss of black currant, forest floor, cedar, and spice box notes. While it still has some tannins to shed, this full-bodied, powerful, long wine is approachable. It should continue to evolve for another two decades. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which Bottle Should I open for Thanksgiving

  • 1998 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe (42%, 23 Votes)
  • 1997 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red (35%, 19 Votes)
  • 1990 Leoville Barton (24%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 55

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the December installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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9 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – A Wine for Thanksgiving

  1. Love Leoville Barton. My most recent bargain is some magnums of their 2004. For a supposedly “off” vintage, this wine is spectacular, with excellent QPR.

  2. My choice for “Pick My Next Bottle” is the 1990 Leoville Barton. That one should be singing beautifully after about 26 years. Cheers Tom!

  3. Although the Leoville is a tempting choice, I have to go with the CdP. I’m such a sucker for an elegant Rhone and this one should be incredible. Having said that, I might keep the corkscrew handy for the Leoville…

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