Specialty Club – May 2008

2005 Domaine Charvin, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Although Burgundy has rightfully received tremendous acclaim for the 2005 vintage, it was also a great year in the southern Rhone, particularly for Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This small, family estate has always been one of Bear’s favorite producers, and over the years, we have had many silky reds and lovely rosés from them. Gerard Charvin and his son Laurent own only 8 hectares in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and they make this wine from the very best lots, mostly from 50- to 70-year-old vines. Primarily Grenache, with some Syrah, Mourvedre, and Vaccarese, the wine is very lush but still quite elegant, with dark fruit, licorice, and coffee flavors and a long, smoky finish. It is ready to drink now or can be cellared for up to 15 years. An excellent match for braised beef dishes, it is $65.00 and we do have a tiny bit more available.

2005 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Télégramme Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc
The excellence of the 2005 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape is not limited to red wine, as you will see when you taste this gorgeous cuvée from the region’s most famous producer, the Brunier family. The winery, founded in 1898, derives its name from an old telegraph station that stood on the Plateau de la Crau, now considered the most elite vineyard site in the area. The Bruniers use the Télégramme label for their wines from younger vines that are still two or three years away from providing the grapes for their elite bottlings. This bottle is just lovely — a full-bodied, rich wine with wonderful complexity and lovely soft floral tones. It’s a perfect introduction to the white wines of the southern Rhone. Enjoy it now, with anything from tomato salad to goat cheese to salmon to roasted chicken. It costs $33.00 and we can still get a bit more, although Châteauneuf-du-Pape whites are always in short supply.