Dinner at Umamicatessen, downtown LA. The food was off the hook great. We were in a private room overlooking the floor.
We started with what should have been a pair of blancs. Damn you TCA! We had some house cured charcuterie for this flight.
2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2/24/2013)
Horribly corked. NR (flawed)
2009 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Roussanne Vieilles Vignes - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2/24/2013)
Another RP 100 pointer. This was thrown in the decanter and was prepared to pair with the '07 Beaucastel Blanc (which was corked) so it went on the table and was quickly dispatched. The wine is still showing well before it curls up for its 8-10 yr slumber. Quite rich, but showing great proportion and balance with complex, rich, waxy fruit carried on a blanket of smooth yet supportive acidity. A beautiful layer of lemon curd weaves through the honeyed fruit. After some air, the texture becomes more lanolin/waxy and the aromas become more pronounced. I really liked this for its big frame and exuberance, yet balanced personality. While not a perfect wine, it certainly is monumental and will likely achieve greatness upon maturity. Really hope I'm around to see it blossom in 15 yrs.
Next course was beautiful salad with a variety of thinly shaved radishes/root vegetables and greens with a lemon vinaigrette (consumed pre-flight).
Next, a flight of older reds. Very nice showing for these, minus of course the corked one.
1998 Bosquet des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chantemerle - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2/24/2013)
Bought and purchased on release. Last had this in 2005. This wine is fully mature. The color shows bricking with a slight orange hue at the rim. Mature CdP has a warm glow to it and this best describes the wine for me. Its flavors were subtle yet nicely proportioned, showing wonderful complexity that only a mature can exhibit. I was happy to find a perfectly balanced wine without some of the problematic issues from the vintage (over-ripe, roasted fruit). This is not going to get any better and, I suspect, will drink well for a few more years. My WOTN.
1998 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2/24/2013)
Last had this on 2008 and was really looking forward to seeing its development. NR (flawed)
2000 Le Clos du Caillou Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine du Caillou Les Quartz - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2/24/2013)
I have had this wine several times over its life. It is finally in a good place (mature) ready for its extended plateau of drinking. It still comes across as darker in color, yet the fruit is quite complex and layered with many of things I love about CdP. There is still some noticeable grip which is easily tempered by food. The fruit is ripe, yet not overtly so. I would wager this has 10 yrs of drinking pleasure ahead. An excellent wine.
2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2/24/2013)
Wow, this is really a polished version for this domain. I had this a few weeks ago, that bottle was less exciting, and bit more closed up. Here we have a wine that retains its primary fruit, yet seems to add a level of sophistication and depth. Extremely clean for Beaucastel with nice garrigue elements. The wine is still well structured and in need of additional cellar time to resolve some grippy tannins. I would keep this another 3-5 yrs in the cellar and have no doubt it will entertain a very lengthy drinking window. Another excellent wine.
Young reds up next. With this flight the restaurant delivered 2 large roasting pans filled with roast pork loin and crispy ribs with arugula and a smoked apple sauce. The ribs were ridiculously good. The following flight worked well with this course.
2007 Mas de Boislauzon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée du Quet - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2/24/2013)
Decanted for about 1-1.5 hours. Lots of hype on the RP 100 pointer. It is a massive, well endowed wine that is just loaded with ripe-bordering on over-ripe fruit. It is massively tannic and just enormous in its texture, flavors and structure. A CdP on steroids is not an exaggeration. No doubt this wine needs extended cellaring before it remotely resembles a CdP. It's not my style, but could certainly prove to be a good wine once the multiple layers of fat are shed. Judgment reserved.
2010 Château Fortia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2/24/2013)
Typical CdP notes, albeit quite soft for a young wine. Structurally, this is young but very approachable, not a long term cellar candidate. Not much in the way of complexity and an average version had it not been for the blooming brett. This wine become too band-aidy about 2 hrs into it.
2010 La Bastide Saint-Dominique Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Secrets de Pignan - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2/24/2013)
Lovely wine. Shows CdP typicity with an extra layer of depth. More on the red fruited spectrum with a nice layer of kirsch and raspberry (no wonder as it's almost entirely Grenache). Very well balanced with good structure worthy of several years of cellaring. Although young, it showed quite well and was very approachable. Not too exuberant, and though I didn't check abv, it seems to me to be in check. I really enjoyed this.
Other than the 2 obviously corked wines, I was most impressed with the majority of wines. I don't drink CdP like I use to. I clearly need to rethink this.