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I have the 2000 Les Cailloux and 2000 Guigal CdP. I am aware that some CdP's like Pegau and Beaucastel require cellaring, but I'm not sure about the above. Parker, in his wine guide, does not give guidance on these in the way he does on bordeaux (I think he contends that most Rhone wines except for Northern are ready-to-drink upon release).

Not to revisit the keep vs. drink debate in general, but I would like to know views on when to drink the Cailloux and Guigal and whether you have found (with the exception of Pegau and Beaucastel) that CdP actually improves with bottle age. Thanks !
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So you know, IMO, the basic bottling of Pegau needs far less time in bottle than Beaucastel. I've already consumed 2 2001 Pegau Cuve Reservee and think it is already approachable. I had a 1995 Beaucastel a few weeks ago and felt like it needed more time.

Both the Guigal and Les Cailloux are drinkable now -- I've had multiple bottles of both wines, in fact. As to wheather they will improve with bottle age, they probably will, particularly the Les Cailloux, although they won't improve tremendously, nor will it take more than 3 or 4 years for them to reach maturity (unless you like your CdP really old, like a couple of people).

What makes Beaucastel (and Veiux Telegraph, among others) unique and in need of lots of bottle age is their elevated levels of Mourvedre -- a grape that, seemingly, takes years if not decades to fully open. The CdP's such as Donjon, Guigal, and Marcoux that are higher in Grenache need far less time, IMO.


"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields
I think most well-made C9dP can benefit from some time in the cellar. Beaucastel and VT probably need the longest time, but I know that Les Cailloux usually benefits from 5-7 years as should the guigal. They do taste great young though!.

When will I learn?
The answers to life's problems aren't at
the bottom of a bottle! They're on TV!
- Homer Simpson
Per RMP on the Guigal CdP:

Even better than the 1999, is the 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape. It reveals a deeper ruby/purple color along with sumptuous scents of creme de cassis, kirsch liqueur, licorice, and Provencal herbs. Boasting abundant glycerin, fuller body, additional black fruit characteristics, low acidity, ripe tannin, and a longer finish, it should be silky and accessible upon release. Anticipated maturity: now-2015.

As far as I know when he says "Now" it usually means that the wine will last till whenever, but may not "improve" with time in bottle. Enjoy it now, but know that you can also expect to get the same enjoyment later on.
I love Les Cailloux, and it ususally drinks well young. I liked the 99 young better than the 00, and I think the 00 can benefit with some time.

I have never been as impressed with the guigal Cdps as others, and I would just drink em and not waste the cellar space.

There is wide variety of opinions on Pegua, and whether it can/should be drunk young. My own limited experience suggests that they can be approached and enjoyed young but will be better with some time.
Thanks for everyone's replies. I will save them in my newly begun wine file. So, if I understand from TLily's rant (which wasn't all that rantful, just elucidating) the characteristic that distinguishes CdP from a plain Cote du Rhone is that the grenache vines are older vs. newer, so don't oxidate as fast and can age longer ? Did I get that right ? Just picked up a Vacqueyras by LeSec, a negociant. It got a good rating from Parker (90 I think) and was cheap ($15).

One other comment. CdP seems, to me, to be a wine which people debate over a lot more than other types, regarding when to drink them. Even for the Grenache-dominated wines, I often drink 4-7 years from vintage date, there are many people, including some on this board (if memory serves correctly) who believe these wines don't fully strut their stuff until 15 years from vintage. I recently had a 1989 Laurent Charles Brotte CdP (Grenache dominated) and, while it did not convice me to age my CdPs for that long, it was a great learning experience and you might consider holding on to a couple of bottles to see what happens to them as they age.



"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields
Stefanie N ,

That's one factor. Old vine Grenache does produce more intense fruit, less prone to oxidizing in the winemaking process. In theory, place has a lot to do with it. CdP should just be a 'better' place to grow grapes. Off course in reality, dedication of grower and producer counts much more and you'll find some CdR wines that are much better than some CdP's.

Santa Cruz Mountains Vintage Chart

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