With friends, enjoyed two bottles of the 2004 Pegau Reservee Chateauneuf-du-Pape and a 750 of the 2005 Chateau de Fargues Sauternes. Last Sunday’s NY Times had some interesting recipes so we tried the Korean braised short rib stew. Thought the Pegau would be a good pairing. Two bottles, each decanted for two-plus hours. Took a sip just after the decants, was tight, the nose was exquisite, but little in the taste. We started-in on them a couple hours later. The first bottle had come around some, nose remained beautiful, dark berry, spices, light raisin, and the taste though not as pronounced as the nose matched it. As the evening progressed, so did the wine. Some currents, and a light cherry showed as well. We started in on the second bottle about four hours after its decant, the profile was similar, the lovely nose the berry, etc. The difference was the extra time brought much more of those delicious elements to the front. We paired with the short ribs towards the end of the first bottle, and into second. The meal was delicious - thank you NYT - and the pairing was a knock-out; wine and food made each better.
We had the 2005 Fargues on its own after the meal. I loved it but our guests thought it to be too sweet. My mistake was not decanting it. Light pear, honey and some citrus to the nose and taste. I am guessing this would have been well-served with a long decant. It was very sweet, as it should be, but the stuffing did not have a chance to emerge. To me only, still pleasing.
So my cheap advice, decant the Pegau for three-plus hours and share it over a meal. And absolutely decant the Fargues for a considerable amount of time. The good news: about a half of the Fargues is waiting to try again tonight.