TNs: VD Y2K CDPs + others.

We invited 2 other couples over for a small Valentines Day dinner last Saturday night. I hadn’t intended to turn it into a wine tasting but as I selected wines for dinner I definitely ended up with a theme of 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape. We opened 4 over the course of the evening along with a couple of other wines. Following are very informal tasting notes as we weren’t wine tasting, just enjoying the evening.

We started with a Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV. This was very enjoyable. Lots of tropical fruits and toast along with a very good mousse. This isn’t going to stand up to truly great Champagne but it was a real winner for the less than $30 I paid for these and made wonderful Kir Royals. I gave it 89 pts.

The first CdP was the 2000 Pegau Reserve. I expected this to be the best showing wine of the night and it was probably the worst. That’s not to say it wasn’t good but there was an awful lot of drying tannin on the finish of this so I’d say to hold onto these for a few more years. The fruit was strong but rather monolithic. Decent nose but no complexity showing. I’ve had this wine several times before and I know it will be better than this but on this day I gave it 90 pts,

The second wine up was the 2000 Usseglio Mon Aieul. What a savage nose this thing had! No traditional garrique but the dark weedy nose on this one really had me scared. Not to worry, the palate was exceptional. Lots of red fruits and excellent depth. The tannins causing that savage nose were present but were held at bay by the wonderful fruit. This will certainly improve in the future as the tannins resolve and the wine gains complexity. 93 pts on this day.

Next I opened a 2000 La Vieux Donjon. I’ve always loved this wine and tonight was no exception. This was the first wine firing on all cylinders. Great expressive nose of raspberries and kirsch. The palate was deep and complex with loads of fruit, tar and anise. If you have these, drink them up. They’re just perfect right now. 95 pts.

The last CdP of the evening was a 2000 Chapoutier Crois du Bois. This was also showing very well though I didn’t think it was quite as good as the VD. Classic Grenache flavor profile of kirsch and anise. This has a very expressive nose and was the most elegant wine of the evening. A seemless performer. 94 pts.

We finished the evening with a 2003 Mazzi Le Calcarole Recioto della Valpolicella Classico. I’d opened a bottle of this a couple of years ago and it was truly splendid. This bottle, while good was in a slightly disjointed place. The tannins were drying on the finish and the fruit was dominated by simple raisins. I think this will blossom down the road but this wasn’t an appropriate time to open this. 88 pts.

Wow, Paul - nice lineup, and how cool to have a vertical of 2000 CdP’s

Do you have any suspicions that the Pegau was perhaps a bad bottle?


The Pegau wasn’t a bad bottle. The fruit was very nice and others enjoyed it more than I did. I thought the tannins were getting in the way of the wine and I’d guess that they’ll resolve in a few years. Every bottle is different. I’m not sure if this was just a super tannic bottle or if my other bottles would perform similarly but I’m going to hold off on opening another for at least a couple of years.

I kind of regret I didn’t open a 2000 Beaucastel along with these other wines but it was getting late so I went with the Recioto.