The August 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 Friday 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. Many though, criticize the hype bestowed on the vintage by Parker and think it has more to do with his taste for hedonistic wines.
When I first did a Pick My Next Bottle for the 2007 vintage the naysayers proved to be correct as a bottle of Domaine de Ferrand was too over the top for my tastes. As always though, instead of rushing to judgement and selling my remaining stash I was more more inclined to see what time in the cellar does to future bottles.
I do think these wines have come around in recent years and I am definitely warming up to the vintage. As always it is good to check in on your favorite producers from time to time.
- 2007 Domaine du Pégaü “Cuvée Réservée” – The 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee (of which I was lucky to find a magnum on a Paris bistro’s wine list a week after my tasting at the estate) is a brilliant effort that ranks alongside the colossal 2003 Cuvee Reservee. A blend of approximately 85% Grenache, 8-9% Syrah, and the rest Mourvedre and other varietals from 50-100+ year old vines aged in foudre, it exhibits a dense plum/purple color along with a big, sweet bouquet of beef blood, grilled herbs, barbecue smoke, lavender, sweet cassis and kirsch and a hint of Asian soy. The wine possesses a fabulous texture, a full-bodied mouthfeel and a seamless integration of tannin, acidity and alcohol. Certainly the alcohol level is pushing 16% in this wine. With extraordinary texture and unctuosity, this remarkable effort should drink well for 20+ years yet be very appealing in its youth given the glycerin, velvety texture, and remarkable complexity. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
- 2007 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe – The 2007 Vieux Telegraphe may be the greatest wine made at this property since the 2005 and 1998. Dense ruby/purple-tinged with an exquisite nose of salty sea breezes, licorice, ground pepper, jammy black cherries, black currants, figs, and plums, this is a full-bodied, rich, Provencal-styled offering with lots of sweet, ripe tannin. It is surprisingly accessible for a Vieux Telegraphe (this wine normally shuts down several years after bottling), but it should have great longevity (25+ years) given its power, full-bodied mouthfeel, and enormous length and richness. This is a brilliant effort from brothers Frederic and Daniel Brunier. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
- 2007 Domaine Charvin – Never one of Laurent’s favorite vintages (although I suspect he’s warmed up to it slightly), the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape continues to drink brilliantly, and while this bottle was just slightly closed, I’ve had numerous bottles from my cellar that are open and singing. Nevertheless, on this occasion, it took some swirling to get it to open up and it’s a concentrated, structured, full-bodied beauty that has the classic elegance of the estate yet with another level of fruit and exuberance. It’s just at the early stages of full maturity, is a smoking good drink and will keep for another 10-15 years. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
Which 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Should I Open?
- 2007 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe (53%, 8 Votes)
- 2007 Domaine du Pégaü "Cuvée Réservée" (33%, 5 Votes)
- 2007 Domaine Charvin (13%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 15
Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another and hit me up with some suggestions for the September version of Pick My Next Bottle.