Saturday, July 6, 2013

Domaine du Grand Tinel Chateauneuf du Pape, 1995

Grand Tinel now makes a semi-modern style Chateauneuf under the guidance of well regarded wine consultant Phillippe Cambie. And the best grapes of the estate, from the oldest vineyards, now go into a prestige bottling, Alexis Establit, that always gets very high ratings from the Wine Advocate.

Back in 1995, though, Grand Tinel made only one bottling from all of its vineyards, and the wine was still a bit less expensive than most of its peers and rarely got 90 plus scores from Parker. As a result, it was often overlooked, and some reviews from consumers I found online were negative. Some people simply can't believe that a $25 wine can be better than one selling for three or four times that much. Tasted alongside the Raymond Usseglio, however, this wine performed quite nicely. Guests at the table were split evenly as to which wine is more enjoyable at this stage.

Slightly lighter color than Usseglio. Probably more Grenache in the blend. Also notably less intense in aromas and flavors. Dried rather than fresh fruits, sweetish rather than savory tones. Both wines have 14% alcohol content, but the Grand Tinel shows as a bit warmer but it's also more powerful. Eventually, this power becomes quite exciting. Excellent accompaniment to roast lamb. I'm glad I have a few more bottles of this to enjoy over the next six to eight years.

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