Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2007 Cellier du Rhone Chateauneuf-du-Pape


Some more random thoughts:

1. I'm generally not a fan of points, but I was thinking about the fact that I grade everything that I drink. So do a lot of people. If I taste something great, it knocks something else off it's pedestal. If I taste something positively atrocious, it elevates something else. What's good is always in flux for me. It's all relative to a certain degree, and there are certainly wines that I think suck, but I'll be honest--I don't taste a lot of wine compared to some people. I do, however, have what I consider to be a decent filter--generally buying wine from a good wine shop that has already selected good stuff. Regardless, I sort of feel like there's a bit of inflation going on. In other words, the more wine I drink that is good, the more a good wine becomes average. Scary thought. Perhaps an incredibly jaded one. I think the real answer is to throw out the grade. Easier said than done, just because I'm always comparing and contrasting in my head, but that's probably the best decision. I'll just have to keep in mind that what might have been a B six months ago may be a C today. Anyone else have some thoughts on this?
2. Viva la wino is a shitty name. What started off as some spur of the moment silliness after a few glasses of wine has morphed into something that is vaguely embarrassing. It's not correct grammatically in any language, and it happens to sound ridiculous. I'm on the hunt for a new name. While I'm on the subject, Bloggers' interface looks like shit compared to Word Press. I'm thinking that I will switch. Anyone have some thoughts? Word Press definitely looks a hell of a lot nicer.
3. Twitter...hmm...too much inane information. Too many people, too many tiny little 140 characterthoughts. Overwhelming. Even worse than the blog wilderness.
4. I was in Trader Joe's the other day, and saw this on the shelf. I'm a sucker for Chateauneuf-du-Pape, especially at $19.99. When I see a wine like Chateauneuf-du-Pape at such a cheap price, a couple of things come to mind--1. How bad can it be? and 2. Are they only able to buy this wine because someone didn't think it was good enough to bottle under their own name? 20$ is cheap for Chateauneuf, especially for a 2007. This wine comes from the negociant Pasquier Desvignes. Doesn't seem to be too much information regarding their operation. The 07 Cotes du Rhone that they have for 6$ is OK, but no where near as good as the other Cotes du Rhone that TJ's has available. I would actually say that their's is the bottom of the barrel. (Of course, if you start to compare their CdR to most California wines, I think it's wildly superior at the 6$ price if you compare to 6$ California wines.) This wine certainly smells like a Chateauneuf-du-Pape--it's got that a plum, cherry, lavender nose with just a hint of earth or meat in the background. Nothing too exciting, but not that bad either. There are similar flavors in the mouth, but they are marked by what I describe as "Kool-Aid" wateriness. In other words, the wine kind of tastes like sugar water. Not a lot of weight to the wine. Hollow in the mid-palate. Not much of a finish.

So how to grade this (not that anyone cares)? At 20$ a bottle, I think this is a fairly bad deal compared to other wines at 20$. Definitely a lot more interesting shit out there that is cheaper. For fucks sake, you can get a ton of wines from the Languedoc, the Loire, or even Cotes du Rhone, that are a lot better, and a lot cheaper. Within the context of CDP, I think it would be worth your while to spend a couple of extra dollars and get something different. I have seen two other wines that are 20$ from CDP in LA--2004 Domaine Beaurenard and 07 Cuvee de Nalys from Costco. The Kirkland Signature (Costco's private label) Cuvee de Nalys was fantastic in comparison to Cellier du Rhone, although it wasn't knocking my socks off. Still, it had some structure and will probably be a nice wine to drink in 5 years. Too bad it's sold out. I might have to check the Beaurenard out to get some more context on cheap CDP. What does bottom end CDP taste like? I think it tastes like Cellier du Rhone. I violated my own rule for buying wine at TJ's--never buy anything that isn't weird. You'll almost always get burned. If it's really good from a big appelation, they're going to be able to sell it somewhere else...they won't be selling it at TJ's. I'd stay away and thank me for saving you 20$ on this one. Go buy a different CDP. D+

9 comments:

jason said...

thanks for taking this one for the team. I've eyed this one as well as two others, the Gigondas and Vaqueryas, as I am thinking bad things lie ahead. A friend bought the latter, still waiting to hear what they think.

As for Wordpress I am a fan, did you change your theme lately? Either I am tired or your site has me going cross-eyed...

Jeff said...

I keep on resisting the Vacqueryas and the Gigondas too. So tempting...I probably like the Rhone more than anything else. At least with those two, they are more wines that are in the same price range. With CDP, there isn't much at 20$.

Yeah, I changed the color scheme recently because I didn't like all the light colors. Anyways, I want to make this site look less amateur and Word Press seems to be a lot more powerful. Do you run your site off Word Press?

jason said...

I do use Word Press. Always have so not sure how the migration process would work but once you move over I can help you get the lay of the land...

CabFrancoPhile said...

I've considered trying this wine a few times. The urge is permanently suppressed thanks to your work. I'll stick with the $30-$60 Cali wines that are being dumped for $15-$25 if I need at TJ's splurge wine. At least those started with good quality despite being wayyyyy overpriced originally.

Mad Mark said...

this wine is now $9.99 a bottle at TJs

Jeff said...

Really? Just FYI, I still don't think that it's worth 9.99. Maybe if it was 5$, it would be acceptable. It's just really not that good.

And dude, you're into bikes? Awesome. Me too.

Ulrich said...

I liked it alright, I figured it was worth around $10. Might get another one to be able to say for sure.

Definitely felt a bit sorry when I read that you forked over $20 earlier on.

bricap said...

The TJ's by me in Park Ridge IL marked this bottle down to $10! I bought a bottle, because at that price, one just has to try a CdP. At $20, I was skeptical, for sure, too skeptical to buy one. This is my first CdP, so I have nothing to compare it against. At $10, I think this worth buying (and no, probably not at $20), though I'd still rather spend the extra buck for the Nobile di Montepulciano that they sell at TJ.

Jeff said...

Bricap--To each his own, as to whether this wine is worth 10$. Personally, part of the reason that I intensely dislike wines like this is that they are a. not typical and b. if there's someone that has never had a "real" Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it's arguable that you'll be turned off. Like it or not, a lot of people are only willing to try something one time...once bitten, twice shy. So for Trader Joes to carry a less than mediocre wine from such an enchanting appellation sucks and is a disservice to the wine drinking public...especially at a higher price point. Of course, other people have shitty CdP too...I've had plenty...both expensive and not. But still, if they're only going to carry one wine, they ought to seek out a wine that will make people a fan...and thus help them sell more wine in the process as well as encouraging people to try something different. Let's face it, if you're spending 20$ on a bottle of wine, you probably aren't too concerned about spending 25$.