Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: *** $$ Heritage des Caves des Papes, Cotes du Rhone, France, 2003

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By way of background: This is Heritage des Caves des Papes, Cotes du Rhone, France.  It is a blend of 70% grenache, 25% syrah and 5% mourvedre.  The 2003 vintage is aged in oak for 12 months and finished at 13.% alcohol.

Original Tasting and Review, July, 2010:

In the glass:  Heritage des Caves des Papes shows as medium deep brick red.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this CdR shows a restrained old-world broccoli and pepper nose.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are an immediate pepperiness on the roof of your mouth, supported by bold acids, a veneer of fruit and some background tannins.  Acids and alcohol bring the finish to your cheeks.

In summary: Overall, a bright, acid-driven, light-red experience. Rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Definitely wants food.

Following a long decant, three days under vacuum in a partially-filled bottle:  Nose is a bit more stretchy-rubber now, like a toy balloon.  No broccoli and no pepper now.  But now, on the palate, the pepper is supported by a somewhat fleshier middle - not exactly fruit, but not at all vegetative.  Better showing overall, though not sufficiently so to raise above two stars.

Updated review, over a year later, October, 2011:  Consistent color and nose.  On the palate, shows a firmer, fuller style now, with ripe red berries crusted with light oxidized tones.  Now eight years from vintage date, moves up a full star to three stars.  Fairly dramatic recovery with additional age. Following long decant, three days kept cool in partially filled bottle: Just a bit too long for this wine, as it turns over and shows noticeable, but not entirely unpleasant, oxidation.

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