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The constant wave of Trick-or-Treaters finally ceased and I decided that it was time to satisfy my serious craving for a Chateauneuf du Pape. After spending most of the afternoon working on a blog post about the region’s wines, I had zero interest in drinking anything else. Writing about wine is like watching the food network, after a while you need the real thing. My blog post centered on the 1998 vintage and how the wines from that year are not aging well. I felt confident in my scathing assessment, but I wanted to open a bottle for confirmation. The 1988 and 1989 Pignan made by Chateau Rayas were two of the most enjoyable bottles I have ever consumed. Both vintages, drank in the late ‘90’s, were incredibly fragrant and delicious. My wife and I bought the 1998 Pignan anticipating that it would equal those previous vintages. Unfortunately, the bottle I opened on this evening failed that goal miserably. The wine showed some sweet fruit on the palate, but it reeked of alcohol. After a 30 second debate, it was poured down the drain. Determined to find a decent ’98, I opened a Domaine Le Vieux Donjon. The flavors were of roasted fruits and the nose was a one dimensional wave of alcohol. Down the drain it went. Having played baseball as a youngster, I believe in three strikes before you are out. The final ’98 was from a very small, old school producer named Mourre du Tendre. I had high expectations for this rare wine. Unfortunately, the wine was pure alcohol. Robert Parker scored each of these wines between 93-96 points. I bought them based on Parker’s recommendation and trusted that he was accurate in his evaluation of their potential. Obviously, this tasting did not change my view that ‘98s are not developing well. Thankfully, the fourth bottle that I opened was a winner. The 2000 Domaine Charvin CDP is deep, dark and very pure. Although it is youthful and tight, the wine clearly is going to be fantastic down the road. I sat on my couch Halloween night and scanned the t.v. for a good scary movie. Dracula is always a winner, but it seemed redundant. I had already experienced enough horror for one day.

 


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