Christmas at ALKO: Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009 by Domaine du Vieux Lazaret (France, Rhône)

Well, to be honest, seeing a Châteauneuf-du-Pape at 25,90 in Alko… I had serious doubt. Price is not an absolute or objective value. Price depends not only on the quality but also on the fame. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the oldest and most famous appellation of France. And its wines are among the very best. Therefore, it is hard to find a good Châteauneuf in France below 30€. True, there are exceptions like Domaine Charvin, but this is not so common. Besides, in Finland, you must take into account the importation costs and the taxes… this explains why I would expect a good Châteauneuf to be around 35-45€ at Alko. Beaucastel being around 69€ (55€ in France).

This being said, it could have been one of these exceptions. But it was not really.

Surprisingly for this very ripe vintage, the color is not very deep. Ruby red with purple reflexions. The nose displays fruits and alcohol. This impression fades gradually to express only (but slightly less intense) black ripe fruit. The mouth is on the same side, with a jammy note and a bit of camphor aromas. Alcohol levels remain very noticeable and there is a little sweetness remaining in the palate. It is quite visible that the wine needs breathing as it gets better over night, at least 3-4 hours in a decanter (if you don’t have a decanter, open 24h before), but it remains somewhat unbalanced. It brings back to my mind some standard cuvées of Vaqueyras, which are in general much cheaper.

This is not a wine that I would warmly recommend. If you are not in a hurry, try to order at your local shop : there is much more to enjoy with Château La Nerthe 2006 (available in « tilattavat »  page of the internet site).

Wineops’ rating: 70/100 ; 5 +

Link to Alko: here

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