France: Wine, French Wine Regions, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, & More Profiled

2010 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This retailed for under $30 so it was a fine value.  Though the vintage was exceptional this is not a great wine, but certainly solid.  Ruby in color.  The nose has some cherries and a bit of spice.  On the palate, the cherries continue.  A bit tart and a bit light.  No tannins.  I doubt this gets better.  It should work well enough at the dinner table with most foods.  

2001 Château Troplong Mondot, France, Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Wine Review

At peak.  Purple/ruby in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has nice cherries with some cassis and cigar box.  On the palate, some complexity.  Nice texture.  Juicy cherries with some cassis and underlying slight cocoa dust and tobacco.  Nice finish.  This is about as good as this wine will be.  Reasonably food friendly for medium and heavier foods.  

2003 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée da Capo, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Just an amazing wine.  This was a vintage with a lot of heat, some wines got jammy and while this is a big wine, it is definitely under control.  Purple/ruby in color. The nose is complex.  Lots of black cherries, black raspberries, with grilled meats, and some anise. Clean, no barnyard. The texture is amazing.  A great example of a sexy wine.  On the palate, loads of black cherry fruit.  Depth.  No hint of the 16% Alcohol.  Long finish.  This probably still has some room for improvement and certainly no hurry on it.  

2005 Château Cos d'Estournel, France, Bordeaux, St. Estephe, Wine Review

Deep purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with cassis, slight blueberries, soy sauce, and slight baking spices.  On the palate, this is young, tight and tannic, but given that, it presents delicious drinking right now.  Of course, give it five or ten years and there is definitely some upside.  The palate has lots of cassis intertwined with a nice earthiness with some salinity.  Good finish.  Needs heavier foods right now.  This has another 20 years in it depening how you like your wines.  

1958 Château Cos d'Estournel, France, Bordeaux, St. Estephe, Wine Review

It's not too often I get the chance to drink a Bordeaux from my birth year - 1958, so this was quite a treat.  Pale ruby/brown in color to the rim.  The nose took a few minutes to sort itself out.  It is clearly old and past its prime but it was good and had plenty of life left.  The nose had dust, some mushrooms but also some cigar box and even some cherries.  Maybe I imagined it, but also some classic soy sauce notes.  On the palate, this is soft but reasonably in balance.  No tannins.  Some cherry fruit layered with damp earth/tobacco.  Good finish.  I won't give this an official grade b

2005 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Slightly better than a recently tasted 2006.  Purple, ruby at the rim.   Raspberries and boysenberries, with licorice, floral and spice on the nose.  A lot of complexity. Amazing texture. Lush, supple and sexy all at once. Perfectly balanced.  Tannins seem about resolved.  Long finish.  This seems to be at peak right now but should stay over the next few years depending on bottle variation.  Will work with a wide variety of food at this point, but heavier foods would be better.  

1989 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, France, Bordeaux, Pauillac, Wine Review

This seems to be at peak at this point.  It won't get any better not discounting bottle variation.  Ruby in color, slight browning at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cherries, slight baking spice, slight dried craisins, On the palate, there is good acidity here.  Tart cherries, cassis with underlying dry forest floor notes.  Nice finish.  This will work nicely with meet based dishes.  Give it 30 miutes of air to blow off the bottle stink and it is good to go.  

2006 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

One of the great producers in the Southern Rhone and one of the few who doesn't have a super pricey luxury cuvee and so everything goes into the basic wine.  The price on new releases does hover into three digits now, but it is well worth it.  This was pop and pour and while it may have benefited from 30 minutes of air, it is drinking very well right now.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has raspberries, clay, and garrique.  On the palate, this has a beautiful texture.  Black cherry fruit layered with spice and minerals/rocks.  Complex.  Probably at or close to peak.   Will work