Chateauneuf du Pape 2005 red wine review

Chateauneuf du Pape 2005

A great, accessible year.  Those that like it describe it as a year for big wines, but not as porty as 2007 but some reviews still think the 2005 wines (depending on producer) are fruit bombs (in a negative way).  I have even seen wines derided as being Californian (and I mean that in the nicest way).

These two are both 100% grenache (unusual).  They are both, however, very Chateauneuf in style: big wines, dry dusty tannin structure, the aromas of spice and Provence herbs (garrigue).  The first wine perhaps more than the second shows its grenache by a stronger raspberry fruit lift.

Domaine Giraud ‘Les Grenache de Pierre’, Chateauneuf du Pape 2005
Herbs and spice on the nose as described above.
A big, round wine which avoids tasting hot or overbalanced.  The dusty, spicy tannins are important, but pleasant.  This is a big, but still elegant wine, with a shape like a powered up Burgundy.   At a quoted price of $60-odd dollars a bottle this wine seems terrific value.  Score 5/7.

Domaine Janasse, Chaupin, Chateauneuf du Pape 2005
Quite dense.  This wine is bigger in every way: more extracted: heavier power and more depth, but notably a high alcohol wine.  The alcohol definitely adds size, but also adds heat and seems to dry the palate out a bit.  Nevertheless this is a serious, classy (if very full bodied) wine with length, depth and classic Chateauneuf tannin structure.
International prices of less than AU$80 a bottle seem to make this wine very good value.  Score 5/7 (including losing a point for being hot).


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