2016 Saint-Cosme Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a producer who first got recognition for their fantastic Gigondas wines.  They have since expanded their releases all over the southern and northern Rhone.  Their Chateauneuf is also stellar.  It is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 10% each of Syrah and Cinsault.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is tight upon opening.  With air, raspberries, black raspberries and mineral/gravel emerge.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lots of black cherry fruit with some raspberries.  Medium tannins.  Bright acidity.  This will work well with roasts and casseroles.  I

2009 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Impériale, France, Rhone, Wine review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This was tasted from a magnum that had been opened for a couple of hours.  Delicious and drinking great.  2009 has been an open and for the most part, accessible vintage since release, yet also an excellent vintage.  Made from 90% Grenache.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has raspberries, spice, dust and a bit of an interesting pine note.  What a great texture it has.  On the palate, there are raspberries over a charred wood with just a hint of the pine.  It has some complexity as it unwinds in the glass.  A long finish.  This is not a brute wine and indeed, more elegant

2003 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$890.00USD

A gorgeous showing for this wine.  100% Grenache.  If served blind, I would have guessed Grand Cru Burgundy.  It was lighter in color and more elegant than a 2001 Dujac Close de la Roche it was served next to (and just as good).  A pale ruby/maroon in color, bright and clear.  On the palate, this has cherries, slight raspberries, baking spices and twigs.  On the palate, this has lovely cherry fruit over a bit of gravel and dry earthiness.  Wonderful liveliness and energy.  Long finish.  A very complex wine.  No hint of the hot vintage of 2003.  This seems developed but also seems like it st

2005 Domaine Grand Veneur Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines, France, Rhones, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Every once in a while you open a bottle and its at peak.  It is a great feeling.  This was one of those times. Deep ruby in color.  The nose is great with black cherries, minerals, slight floral notes and garrique.  On the palate, this is layered and complex.  At the same time it drinks fresh and with vibrancy.  Plenty of black cherry fruit, some black licorice, and charred earth.  Long finish.  This is delicious on its own and will work great with casseroles and roasts.  It should be here for three to five years and then slowly fade while still great for another ten or so.  

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

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