Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2004 Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape


I haven't had much new wine to drink recently because my friend and his wife were visiting and they're not particularly into wine, so we drank a bunch of stuff that was great but relatively inexpensive. Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, Hecula, and a few other things, including a bottle of Fonseca Bin 27 Port. Anyways...so I figured that we'd drink something fun to help ring in Fall. Now don't get the wrong idea, it's still hot here, and let's face it, 75 and sunny is summer for most of the country, but at least mentally, it's the end of summer for me. I also bought a new bike this weekend and I wanted to celebrate the fact that it's pretty awesome (a Cannondale Six Carbon if that means anything to anyone. Much nicer than the CAAD 9 that I bought a year ago).

So I saw this at Costco in Culver City, and I just had to grab it at 29$. 29$ is fairly cheap for CDP...and Louis Barruol is one of my favorite wine-makers. This is one of his negociant wines and not from his estate. 04 wasn't nearly as good a vintage as '05 or '07, so I imagine that there are a lot of distributors that still have inventory of the '04's out there. Add in all the economic stuff, and the fact that you can easily get three different vintages of CDP on the market right now, and you have a recipe for some great bargains. Just because a vintage isn't as good doesn't mean that there aren't some great wines...

This wine is awesome. 50% Mouvedre and 50% Grenache. A bit restrained at first, then a whole cavalcade of Rhone wine scents: plums, cherries and cream (what's a good word for that? Kirsch? Really seemed like a cherry custard with cream on it or something), meat, pepper, licorice, lavender, herbs, and a little earth thrown in the mix. This wine has one of those noses that is endlessly interesting, shifting, complex, and compelling. Once it's in your mouth, there's good weight and intensity, with cherry and earth flavors. The finish seems endless...it just keeps going. The price at Costco was a great deal--seems to be around 45$ online. I am in love with this wine...A+

One other random musing that I had while I was drinking this wine: the scents of lavender, vanilla, and licorice are nor really all that far apart from each other. Might sound weird, but this is a shifty wine, and I think that there is a similarity between all of these scents...

2 comments:

CabFrancoPhile said...

This wine sounds great. These CdP wines do seem to get a bit pricey, but I'd definitely drop $30 for one that's heavy on Mourvedre and Grenache. I've seen what happens to CA Syrah in hot regions, and I'm sure similar things happen in the Southern Rhone. More Mourvedre, less Syrah with Grenache as the base is what I want, in theory.

Interesting point on the lavender/vanilla/licorice similarity. Sometimes I find floral and spice-like aromas in well-made barrel aged wines (where it doesn't go all sickly vanilla). But I think lavender and fennel are fairly common in southern France, so it could be a purely terroir element as well since grapes can pick up local aromas.

Jeff said...

I like the Mouvedre. It's where a lot of the spicy elements come from. Interesting point about the terroir element...I think that they probably come from the oak, but they might come from grapes too...something to look into.