Last evening (Wednesday, March 30) the Whitehouse=Crawford Restaurant in Walla Walla put on a tasting of Chateauneuf du Pape wines. The principal grape is Grenache, with some Syrah or Mourvèdre, and smaller amounts of Cinsault, Counoise and others. Here are the wines tasted, with my notes and scores.
2013 Vieux Telegraphe CdP Blanc ($66) - A small amount of white wine is made in Chateauneuf du Pape. This one, of 40% Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanc, 15% Roussanne and 15% Bourboulenc, offered a medium gold coor and intriguing aromas of pear, peach and papaya, with slightly nutted flavors and a ripe, lively finish. 19/20 points.
2006 Le Vieux Donjon (Magnum) - Composed of 75% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, and 5% Cinsault, this showed a ruby color and a perfumed nose of dark fruits, crushed roses and violets. The wild black fruit flavors were thck and generous, with a thick, earthy yet refined finish. 19+/20 points.
2013 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils ($49) - The cepage is 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 6% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 2% Counoise, 2% Muscardin. It possessed a deep ruby color and enticing strawberry, cherry and plum aromas, with scents of roses, sweet tobacco and incense. The flavors were nicely fruited with depth and length. 18.5+/20 points.
2013 Domaine de la Charbonnière ($45) - Composed of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre, this possessed a ruby color and a spicy nose of wild raspberries, blueberries and pomegranates along with spiced incense. The flavors were robust and direct, with plenty of character and a forceful finish. 18.5+/20 points.
2013 Chateau Fortia "Traditiion" ($39) - A good value - 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah - this offered a medium ruby color and attractive aromas of raspberries, plums, roses, and incense, with chewy, direct flavors and good depth in the moderate tannin finish. 18.5/20 points.
2011 Telegramme ($49) - The second wine of Vieux Telegraphe, this is 90% Grenache and 10$ Mourvèdre. It showed a purplish color and a rich nose of roasted berries and nuts. The medium bodied flavors were direct and not particularly complex, followed by a spicy moderate tannin finish. 18/20 points.
2013 Mas de Boislauzon "Tradition" ($54) - This 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 15% Syrah blend showed a deep ruby color and a seductive, perfumed nose of wildflowers, raspberries, blueberries, and currants, with scents of crushed roses and violets. The flavors were supple and vivid, with plenty of depth, followed by a long, complex finish. 19+/20 points.
2006 Bosquet des Pape, "Cuvée Tradition (Magnum) - This was the second magnum poured. This one, 75% Grenache, 12% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 3% Cinsault. Ruby-garnet colored, it emited aromas of semi dried fruits, old tree cherries, crushed roses, orange peel, cigar smoke, and incense. The full bodied flavors were supple and well developed, underlain with minerals, nuts, leather and coffee, followed by a long finish with tannins begining to smooth out. 19.5/20 points.
2013 Domaine du Pegau "Cuvée Reservé" ($59) - The lady next to me asked, "what is it about this wine?" I noted that it was aged 24 months in old wood foudres. I said, "it's the old wood." Initially, the nose of wild berries and incense was enticing, but then the taste of old wood became obstrusive. 85% Grenache, 9% Syrah, 4% Mourvedere, Counoise and other reds. 17/20 points.