This was how Berry Brothers and Rudd described the southern Rhone vintage. So, when we opened Raymond Usseglio’s Chateauneuf du Pape we were expecting a notable wine. This was made from 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah plus 10% Mourvedre and cost £21 from the The Big Red Wine Company
The dense black core was trimmed with a brick coloured rim and the nose was attractively medicinal, aromatic and spicy at the same time as having woody overtones. The palate was sweet , almost port-like, with lots of dark red fruits. There was some acidity but not very pronounced and it was soft with low tannins so we estimated that now was the best time to be drinking it – and possibly it might have been better slightly younger. It was still a big mouthful of flavour but only had a medium length.
Having now aged ten years plus, we thought this a good wine but whether it matched the description of the vintage as judged by BBR, well – that was harder to say.
[Richard: I’ve never been much of a fan of CdP so thought I’d try a mixed case from a ‘classic producer‘. The reviews on the linked site are very favourable but I’m afraid that, on reflection, I didn’t like this wine much. I hoped that, following our recent ‘three day wine‘ this might be better on the fourth day – it sat in a decanter from Sunday evening till Thursday evening when I retasted it. Much the same – too full on, too port-like, too much fruit, not enough structure. I persevered but the remainder went down the sink. A shame but I’ve liked other wines from this producer so maybe the vintage was just too hot.]