2011 Domaine Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Premices, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

The 20111 vintage was difficult in the Rhone.  Nevertheless, Giraud still crafted a very nice wine.  Purple in color.  The nose is tight but with air shows cherries and raspberries with some spice.  On the palate, this runs a bit sweet/ripe.  Cherry candies.  Low in acidity.  Slight tannins.  Moderate finish.  This is easy drinking on its own but might work better with a some less sweet cookies or chocolate dessert.  It seems to be  nearing the end of its optimal drinking window so it probably should be consumed sooner.  That said, it will still be drinking well for at least the next five y

2010 Domaine Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

The 2010 vintage was excellent if quite structured on release.  While they have finally opened up, the structure remains.  Deep purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, roasted meat and roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has sweet black cherry fruit with a bit of cherries along with some char and spices.  Mild tannins.  Good finish.  I don't think this will improve from here but should be good for another five to seven years at least.  This will work well with burgers or roasts.  

1999 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This was a very nice bottle.  It was clean and must have been well stored all of these years.  Ruby in color.  The nose has red berries (kind of a cross between cherries and raspberries) with slight violets, roasted herbs and a bit of black pepper.  On the palate, this has some depth and a bit of complexity.  At or slightly past peak (perhaps) but drinking wonderfully.  Cherries with roasted herbs and slight forest floor.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  No hurry but it won't get better and should probably be consumed in the next five to seven years though it will last longer.  It will go with

2015 Rotem & Mounir Saouma Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Magis, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

What a killer white wine.  This was even better than the 2016 and 2013.  Deep golden in color.  The nose has smoke, lemons, floral notes and white peaches.  On the palate, this is full bodied with a zesty acidity.  There is a lemon cream quality to it not too unlike a nice Chard but also peaches with underlying minerals.  This is a big wine but with enough energy to pull it off.  It does have a bit of an acidic bite on the finish right now.  It is delicious and worked great with a pea.

2001 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is slightly earthy with cherries, garrique and charred wood.  On the palate, this has nice cherry fruit with layers of forest floor and damp earth.  Nice acidity.  Seems to be at peak, depending how you like your wines.  Nice finish.  This will work great with roasts.  It probably needs to be drunk in the next five years or so.  

2003 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This was a bit of a controversial wine on release due to the hot vintage and the extracted nature of the wine.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, spice, and slight earthiness.  On the palate, this has calmed down since release.  There are nice black cherries, but it is not hot or over ripe.  Plenty of depth.  It has settled into adulthood quite well.  Layers of fruit, earth and spice.  Nice finish.  It works well with grilled peppers or probably most grilled foods.  It won't get better and probably should be drunk in the next five to seven years, perhaps a few

2012 Domaine Font de Michelle Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Etienne Gonnet, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a big wine, but it was surprising how well it is drinking now.  Purple in color.  Plums, black cherries, spice, slight floral all make up an enticing nose.  On the palate, this has a lush but crisp texture.  Plenty of juicy fruit; plums black cherries and even some black raspberries intertwined with spices and charcoal over a slight earthiness.  Good energy.  Long finish.  This seems so good today, it doesn't appear that it will get better but will certainly change as it matures.  It will go great with casseroles and stews as well as burgers and steaks.  It has another five to seven

2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2000
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

A fine showing for this wine.  At age 18, it is drinking well with plenty of time left.  This bottle was decanted for sediment and served.  It could have used an hour in the decanter or more to really open.  The last glass was the best.  Deeper ruby in color, mostly opaque.  The nose is clean for the most part.  Cherries, raspberries, some earthiness and nice minerality on the nose.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Plenty of depth with nice layering in the glass.  A lot of fruit left; cherries and raspberries and some black raspberries, over a dry earthy quality.  This bottle

2001 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$105.00USD

This was given an hour in the decanter after decanting for sediment.  Purple/ruby in color.  This took a long time to come around.  In fact, we gave it another hour and then it finally started to open (2 hours total).  The nose is clean with raspberries, garrigue, and black licorice.  What a wonderful texture.  Silky yet plush and almost seamless.  Showing a bit of age, but then with more air it revived even further.  Lots of black and red raspberries, black cherries, lavender and spice.  Deep and tightly layered.  Long finish.  The proverbial last glass was the best.  This bottle was bough

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