Friday, January 21, 2011

Chateauneuf du Pape Val de la Pierre Joel Dupont `08 AOC $17.99 (Not TJ's) ***

This is what happens when JPH takes me shopping with him.  I stand in the wine shop and I am overwhelmed.  He grabs a shopping cart and deftly starts putting bottles in the cart.  I stand and stare at labels, and he makes decisions. Will I ever get over that "Kid in a candy shop" indecisiveness?  Probably not.

As we were checking out of Coves Discount, we saw a display that said "Chateauneuf du Pape" $17.99.  JPH put back a montepulciano and I grabbed this bottle. (We were buying a mixed case for the 20% discount). Then it was off to shop for dinner.  (Today was MLK day, no work) Well, tuna was on the menu but it didn't look so good.  Duck was on sale, so the decision was made.

Chateauneuf du Pape is one of those wines that has been a catchphrase for people like me to make fun of.  Put on a funny accent, swirl your Tickle Pink in your McDonald's wine glass and say "Chateauneuf du Pape" with your pinkie finger in the air.

Really, this is not a totally accessible wine and the embossed bottle just adds to that heraldic aloofness. It figures that wines from this AOC are steeped in papal history.  I posed a head to head drink off between Chateauneuf du Pape and Vino Nobile Montipulciano, (two wines with close ties to papal history) and S. laughed. This could happen in the future... I can be persuasive....

Meanwhile, back to the Chateauneuf du Pape.  It is a remarkable wine, in that it tastes like two wines.  It has the bright fruity taste of a Beaujolais on first sip - a strong raspberry taste and the heavy tannic finish of an old Cabernet Sauvignon.  Wow, so this is an AOC Syrah? This wine has known some oak in its lifetime. I also imagine that when I think of a wine tasting of leather, it is the finish of this wine that will come to mind for me. Fruity and leathery, now THAT is a complex wine! There is some pepper too, that adds to the brightness when you first sip.

After the Nuance:  By aerating it, it smoothed out but that just made the finish seem rougher. I wouldn't bother.  It is remarkably complex in that I still stand by that it tastes like you are drinking two different wines.

Good wine.  I won't go running out for more.  It paired well with the poached then roasted at 500 degrees duck (Thank you Barbara Kafka Roasting), roasted potatoes in Rosemary, and tomatoes in olive oil & red wine vinegar infused with garlic. It was really good flavorful meal, that paired well with a flavorful complex red wine that was an impulse buy. 

Speaking of red wine vinegar... 
it has been a year since I started my adventure
in making my own vinegar.  
We used it tonight. 
It is great to be able to run down to the cellar and 
draw out a quarter cup of
homemade vinegar from the barrel.  
Leftover red wine does have its place.
(that is is you have leftover red wine!)

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