Hamlet Act 1, Scene 2

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Oh dear, I feel like Hamlet in the second scene of the play. Everyone enjoying themselves in court, the king and queen of Denmark proclaiming great love for each other whilst a sullen teenage youth mopes in the corner. Looking at the reviews of this wine there is a universal admiration for its power, its potential and its Parker points.

I’m sorry to be the pooper but I didn’t like it – or, to be deferential, it didn’t like me.

Chateauneuf du Pape Vieux Telegraph Le Crau 2010, 14.5% H Brunier, the label proclaimed – although I tasted it blind.

Slightly brick coloured on the rim, the wine was a dense red, almost black colour with very thick windows. No particular fruit stood out (suggesting a blend) but the nose was a mix of the black fruits. The strongest smell I detected was figs. The palate was full flavoured and obviously powerful (I was convinced of Grenache with others by this stage) and tannic. There was also an earthy quality which didn’t appeal and it was relatively short. It certainly needed food to bring out some fruit which, for me, was distinctly lacking.

It may be that the wine is starting its ‘dumb phrase’ – like a teenager – and will emerge into an attractive adult but, from this teenager, it wasn’t for me. We had drunk Rhone wines that were more to my taste, I’ll let Richard provide the links.

[Richard: from Tanners, £33. This will be, I expect, my last attempt to understand why wine lovers bang on about Chateauneuf de Pape. I’ve previously blogged on this – occasionally coming across a good one, but mostly I find them too big and too heavy. I’d hoped that this wine, being from a very reputable maker might show some finesse and it wasn’t as unforgiving as some I’ve tried but ultimately it was a wine to respect rather than admire. Great if you like the style but I’ve come to realise I don’t, much. I was prompted to open it after reading an article saying that CdPs are at their best after 6 years. This was certainly mature and, as I’ve got 5 left I’ll keep them for a while.]

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