Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The August installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the the 2009 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.

The 2009 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape was characterized by a warm, dry growing season, with a heat wave arriving after veraison. Ripening was fast but even and grapes retained acidity thanks to cool nights. The wines have pure fruit and polished tannins. All the producers below make wines capable of aging for up to 20 years but at 14 years from vintage I would suspect you are hard to go wrong opening any of them.

The Contenders

  • 2009 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe – The 2009 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau is a beauty. A blend of 60% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, and the rest an assortment of varieties, all from La Crau, it exhibits a traditional, muscular bouquet of both red and black fruits, white pepper, rolled stone, iron, and spice cabinet-like characteristics. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied, structured wine that has a firm, focused feel, solid concentration, and an edgy, long finish. Overall, this is an old school, classically styled wine that’s meant for aging; it will need time to be approachable 94 points from Jeb Dunnuck.
  • 2009 Domaine de la Janasse Chaupin – Showing spectacularly well and a brilliant vintage for this cuvée, the 2009 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin is a textbook Grenache that has an almost cool climate feel in its fresh, delineated aromas of black cherry, raspberry, licorice, mineral, and freshly snipped flowers. Full-bodied and concentrated, yet still remarkably fresh and detailed, with not even a hint of being over the top, this spectacular Chaupin should be given another 4-5 years in the cellar at which point it will evolve gracefully for 15-20 years. 97 points from Jeb Dunnuck.
  • 2009 Le Vieux Donjon – A very classically styled and structured wine, the 2009 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a blend of 80% Grenache and the rest Syrah and Mourvèdre, delivers captivating and slightly feral aromatics of garrigue, licorice, white pepper, leather, black cherry, and raspberry styled fruits on the nose. The wine screams southern Rhône on the nose as well as the palate. Medium to full-bodied and structured, with a clean, focused texture, medium concentration, and a solid, tannic finish, this might just have more structure than fruit and depth through the middle. 93 points from Jeb Dunnuck.

Which 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Should I Open?

  • 2009 Domaine de la Janasse Chaupin (53%, 9 Votes)
  • 2009 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe (47%, 8 Votes)
  • 2009 Vieux Donjon (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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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 September Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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