Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf du Pape, 2000

One of the favorite Chateauneufs in my cellar is the 1988 Clos du Mont Olivet. It is a BPC. (before prestige cuvee) wine.  Two years later, with the 1990 vintage, Clos du Mont Olivet started producing Cuvee du Papet, presumably using grapes from the estate's oldest and best vineyards. I'm not a fan of prestige cuvees because they are 1) expensive, 2) usually made in an international style using new oak or barriques and 3)  dilute the quality of the regular, traditionally made bottling.

I haven't tasted the 2000 Cuvee du Papet, but this regular bottling measures up well to what the estate produced prior to 1990. It's deep and dark with a powerful bouquet of cherries, black fruits and Provencal herbs. Somewhat funky but in the best tradition of Chateauneuf du Pape. When the wine was released, Stephen Tanzer of the International Wine Cellar found "little sign of the animal side of Chateauneuf." That is certainly not the case tonight. From the "charming, fruit-driven" style that Tanzer found, I smell and taste a big, traditional Chateauneuf, full of the depth and complexity that derive from old vines and traditional winemaking. There are still some tannins, I think, but they don't block the savory, sea salt nuances.

No comments:

Post a Comment