Wednesday, September 26, 2012

M. Chapoutier La Bernardine 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

M. Chapoutier La Bernardine 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Dry Red Wine, $47.99-$57.99, 91 points, has a metallic garnet color with a broad transparent rim.
A more or less unique aroma pours with the wine and wafts noticeably throughout; there is, of all things, the aroma of red-grape, mellow cooking spice, other red fruits, and sandy-earth.
A medium body trending a bit on the plus side is noticeably acidic with velvety tannin, producing a dry tart red wine.
Flavors of strawberry and red cherry carry the wine to a long black and white peppery finish.
Varietals are a Red Rhone blend, and I was again unable to readily locate what the varietals are.
Just a quick comment: because I'm not familiar with French wines and don't pretend to be the "be-all and end-all" of knowledge or advice concerning these wines, my two cents worth of "a penny for your thoughts" is: if value is an issue, I'd stay away from this wine and I'd research French wines before you spend a great deal of money; ask yourself: what do I want these wines for (special occasion or as a "table wine", maybe an investment)? I've mentioned Dave Boyer's blog as a resource, and there are many others, but there is also thousands of French wineries, and often the wines recommended will not be available.
There are very good French wines for $11-$25, and though I've scored the La Bernardine 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 91 points, others were not so kind, and at this price, most of us will not be satisfied.


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  1. Sounds *slightly* disappointing; considering the price.

    Could I ask if you had anything to eat with this? Chateauneuf-du-Pape isn't really something to just "sip" while watching tv. But it excels with lamb, game and items prepared with Mediterranean herbs.

    I also tends to age well in the cellar.

    1. Bill, I understand the food-thing, but that's a separate issue, I can't "judge" a wine on the basis of anything else but the wine itself, and as I've been discovering, of all the "big" reviews, this wine probably gets its highest score (92) from WS.
      To answer your ? though, I didn't have this wine with food, but will tonight, and after having given it some time to evolve, that should give some insights.

  2. Dennis,

    I'm not a major fan of French wine either - but Chapoutier is typically pretty nice. If any wine was ever a "kitchen sink" of varietals CdP is it. 13 grapes are allowed by law, with red varietals listed as: Cinsaut, Counoise, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Muscardin, Piquepoul, Syrah, Terret, and Vaccarèse. I *think*, most use the "GSM" approach but you never really know what's in the mix.


    1. John, it's not that I'm not a fan of French wines, it's just that the prices are often high for what you get, and I'm NEVER sure I'm going to like what I buy; with Brunello I've never been disappointed (I know, there certainly will be the first time). So, I'll buy a Brunello, and I'm presumptuously confident that I'll be satisfied.
      With this said, I will, hopefully on Monday, purchase at least a dozen different 2009 Bordeaux wines. I'm into exploring, and that's what I intend to do; the only way to know a wine is to taste a wine for oneself.
      As for: "Chapoutier is typically pretty nice." I'd have to say judging from this one only, that you are right, but the QPR isn't quite there for me.
      John, thanks for the info!