TN: STG does Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1998-2001

STG DOES CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 1998-2001 - Seattle, WA, USA (9/2/2010)

I hosted a meeting of the Seattle Tasting Group where we enjoyed a BLIND tasting of 1998-2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
As folks arrived I grilled some flatbread that was dressed simply with a lovely olive oil that was quite grassy and buttery and some coarse, flake salt. We enjoyed a spectacular sunset over the Olympic Mountains before moving to the tasting.

All wines were bagged and tasted blind, although obviously each attendee knew what they had brought. Additionally, one attendee had accidentally revealed their wine (1999 Pegau) to me, so I knew 2 of 7 wines in advance.
After an initial tasting of the seven wines I grilled up some summer squash, zucchini, Flanken teriyaki, and BBQ beef back ribs. Yum!!!

  • 2000 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    This is a VERY intense wine. Roasted plum, quite high-toned with some VA, bittersweet, pine-resin, some VA, very impressive structure. Waves of vibrant raspberry, nice and plummy, quite monolithic at first, not very dimensional, intense, smoldering, wound up. Wait, wait, wait…

  • 2001 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Saxon bottle. Very Provencale. A hint of tomato paste, slightly advanced. Great palate, papery dry, bursting with Grenache, pepper and spice. Quite lovely and drinking oh so well!

  • 1999 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Clear wine of the night and easily picked out single blind. (I knew 2 of the 7 wines in the lineup, this being one, and this was a screamingly obvious pick). Animal, bloody, oh yeah baby! Band-aid and iodine, awesome, spicy, raspy, pine needle and garrigue, oh yeah! Leathery, chewy and long on the impeccable finish. This wine has been in its sweet spot for 5-7 years now. Wowza!

  • 2001 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    An easy, forward, oxidative style. Crazily plush, ripe and fun. Easy and smooth. Not a ton of depth and spice but round and ready. Solid wine.

  • 2000 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Sappy, ripe and sweet with lovely white pepper and raspberry. This is a wine I have had bad luck with, but this was a very delicious bottle.

  • 1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Hmm, I am not sure this was a proper bottle. A faintly oxidized nose with hints of pickle. Despite that, mmm, this is roasty, yummy, and dusky with chocolate and rhubarb. This is definitely a bit funky, slightly tart, faintly odd. Lots to like here but again maybe a slightly off bottle.

  • 2001 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Noble bottle. My notes on this last wine were quite terse: “super pepper, fxxking awesomeness.” A few hours later I am circling back and revisiting each wine, and for this bottle I am hard put to state it any better. This is crazily vibrant and peppery with screaming cherry notes, very pure, very clean, and quite powerful.

Well that was quite fun as always. Thanks everyone for a great tasting!
Posted from CellarTracker

Looks like a fun tasting- bummer that Sax and Noble couldn’t get it together and both brought 2001 Clos de Papes- not that it is a shabby wine and unfit of tasting twice… Curious how different/similar they were in general?

this is what i am wondering, too. looks like it was a fun event. thanks for posting, eric! [cheers.gif]

No one knew what anyone else was bringing. Adam brought two bottles since his Dad was in attendance, so he knew two. And I knew two since JasonD had spilled the beans on his pick to me. But we had them all bagged and shuffled. The funny thing was that the two 2001 Clos des Papes showed somewhat differently. Both were great though. As a rule we had a LOT of very Grenachey personalities nearly across the board. That Pegau did stick out like a sore thumb, and it was oh so good. The disappointment of the night was the Vieille Julienne. I guess it is better to drink a super lux cuvee when you can see the label. I will say that when tasted blind a number of people felt like it was a wine that was deserving of about 10 more years and was holding back a ton.

The '99 Pegau is, to date, the greatest QPR wine I ever bought @ $27. I have one bottle left-all from the original release-after consuming close to 2 cases. Wondering which release you had?

Gregg, we are presuming we had the original and not the re-release.

Sounds like a great tasting Eric, thanks for the notes.
I’ve been digging '01 CdPs lately.
Take home point for me: must try some other Pegaus. First time tasting Pegau was the '06 vintage, but based on yours and others notes, the '99 and '04 look very appealing.

Is there much difference?
Can you tell from the label?

From CT: 1999 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 2nd Release, France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape - CellarTracker" onclick=";return false;

To identify the 2nd release from the initial, the lot # of the late-bottled '99 Pegau is: L: 03-06-24. This is printed on the bottle in purple ink, just under the capsule. Hold the bottle up to a reasonably strong light, rotate it slowly and it should appear.

Thanks for posting the notes Eric. Even though I missed it on the first go through, the Pegau sang by the end of the evening. I’ve had more than my share of Pegau and I really don’t think there is a better producer of cdp out there, across the board great from the mid 90’s to present. I was also surprised by the Clos de papes, all bottles drank well and weren’t flabby like I was expecting.

A great evening with great friends and Eric is a hell of a chef…can’t wait to do right bank bdx next time.

Thanks, Eric. That CT sure has a wealth of information. [welldone.gif]

Have you noticed much difference between the releases?

Thanks Eric.

The difference is the 2nd release saw longer foudre time (was suppose to be a Cuvee Laurence) but Laurence felt it was not up to the quality so they called it Reservee. It seems to be less feral and show a bit more spice and perhaps not as layered.


I have found the re-release to be cleaner and more fruit driven with less overall interest for me. I like the horsey/bretty more advanced character of the original release. The re-release doesn’t drink like a Cuvee Laurence to me either.

Thanks, thanks is really very kind of you to say. The Kosher kitchen definitely starts me out with one hand tied behind my back.

Good to read the 01’s showing so well. The last few I tried were over the top tannic/structured admittedly around 9 months ago. Great notes on great wines.

Interesting on the 2000 Vieille Julienne Reserve… last bottle I had was saturated with VA. Certainly an impressive mouthful of a wine, but not much fun to smell…

Fantastic notes Eric. We will be popping various clos des papes in the near future. How much air do you think the 01 and the 00 require?

Much appreciated,

Faryan, I popped the cork but didn’t decant the bottle of my 01 about 2 hours in advance.


we have been out of town for Labor Day, otherwise I would have posted sooner.

as always, your kind hospitality, cooking and the sharing of your beautiful home was wonderful.

I had brought the ’98 Beau, have drunk it frequesntly and it has always”sung"
This certainly was an off bottle…I thought a little corked, which sure ruined the pleasure of it.

Claire and I send Suzi, yourself and your family our wishes for a wonderful and joyous New Year ! [cheers.gif]