Monday, March 31, 2008

Domaine Chante Perdrix Chateauneuf du Pape, 1978

With boneless leg of lamb marinated in black pepper and red wine, this mature wine was superb. The color was deep and dark for a 30-year-old Grenache-based wine. There were amber tones, of course, but you had to look for them. Opening the bottle was like opening a sealed container of exotic spices and dried berries. Very concentrated. It was the same on the palate--silky smooth and full-bodied. The label doesn't indicate alcohol level, but I suspect it is fairly high by the standards of 1978--14% maybe. The finish is cool with concentrated but not over-ripe fruit. This has to rank with the best red wines I have ever tasted.

I had the 1989 Chante Perdrix a couple of times last year and thought it was excellent but fading. This 1978 today tastes younger and better than the 1989, although I now suspect that the 1989 still has some years to go. Old-vine Grenache can take some unexpected turns, and the 1989 has the same range of exotic scents and flavors.

Chante Perdrix is a very traditional estate with old vines and old wine-making methods. Current vintages can be purchased for about $20 to $25--cheap by today's Chateauneuf du Pape standards.

No comments:

Post a Comment