Friday, April 30, 2010

1999 E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Here we go again. Just when I had practically given up on Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Enoch pulls out this basic ’99 CdP from E. Guigal. Oh, from the first whiff I was sold – the rusty metal meets juicy blood, slight gaminess inviting of meat, a touch of “bloody mary” spice, tart medley of berries with a silky and by no means thick texture. Gone the jamminess of a young CdP, this 11 year old revealed layer after layer of complexity for the entire 3 hours of the meal making me zone out the happenings of a bustling restaurant. Secondary flavors coming together like an orchestra, the fruit was still fresh and juicy but not fruity, the wine at its peak. Perfect with lamb shank, I had to order seconds just to continue reveling in the wine. The much respected ’99 Joseph Phelps Insignia came next in all of its soft and super-juicy California glory, but my hand reached for more Guigal again and again, until the last drop oozed from the bottle, sediment and all, and longingly I continued sniffing phantom vapors from the bottom of my glass. I’d eschewed critically-acclaimed Chateauneufs from legendary 1998 and 2007 vintages, prestigious cuvees costing hundreds of dollars, and yet this $40 entry-level CdP from Guigal with osso bucco was easily the most inspiring Southern Rhone I’d ever had. Not because it was a grand or fancy or sexy wine, but because it was a good good good honest wine - the kind of wine you are "going to marry" rather than have a one-night stand with (if that makes any sense to you). Holy smokes – what an evening on a cruise ship – afterwards I even sang karaoke and danced the night away, emboldened by the spell of the brilliant ’99 Guigal.


enochchoi said...

It sure was delish! Have more '99 CdP at home!

lilimac said...

hello, i know this sounds ignorant but the person who gave me this bottle of wine told me to keep it in the fridge. it's been sitting in there for almost 6 years! is it to be drunk cold or left sit at room temperature or possibly not to have been stored in the fridge at all? any advice would be appreciated as sadly i am wholly ignorant on the subject. thanks.

Iron Chevsky said...

Storing in fridge for long time is not recommended. However, most likely there is no damage to your wine. In fact, it is probably is in more pristine condition that a wine stored at higher temperature. I would not hesitate to warm it up to just below room temperature right before drinking. And it's the '99, then it's time for you to drink it.

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