Saturday, February 14, 2015

Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf du Pape Tradition, 2000

Many tasters, particularly those who don't have a lot of experience with Southern Rhone, focus on the earthy, barnyard qualities of Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas. I usually disagree, but, with this wine, the barnyard is clearly present. And I love it. This is the first bottle of a half case I bought in the early 2000s, and it shows signs of being a good ager.

Deep Grenache crimson color with minimal bricking. Barnyard, yes, along with cherries, rosemary and ripe berries. Grenache oriented and traditional--no new oak or small barrels used in making this wine. Very rich on the palate, like a fruit cake. Good fruit/acid balance and a long, finish with licorice and black peppercorn. The wine has already started to open up after only about 20 minutes in the glass, and I expect it to explode with flavor alongside Provencal roast lamb in the oven for Valentine's Day.

And it does. Barnyard funk is tranformed into ripe blackberries and currants. Very rich, very long. Reminds me a lot of Domaine Pegau but also Bois du Boursan, two of my favorite Chateauneufs.

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