E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2003, 89 points

2003 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape
(France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)

This wine was a little surprising in that it was one of the better rhones for the price. The nose had green pepper, cedar, cocoa, and a touch of floral lavender. Had a hit of dirty diapers. The color was a little thin, kind of a lighter purple with lavender around the edge. The palate did not have ay peaks and valleys, it was pretty consistent through the finish where it hit you with black liocrice and the alcohol stayed lingering. The start of the palate was nice and earthy with Blackberry, plum, bell peppers, white pepper and tobacco. It was tight in the beginning and loosened up in about 30 minutes, especially the nose which got way floral. The palate was spicy and hit the sides of the tongue. Overall it was pretty balanced but the alcohol lingered a touch too much toward the mid and finish. Had a good earth and veggie feel to this wine. This wine was level lined and there were no hot spots in it, it was just overall consistent and not tremendously complex. It was enjoyable and worth a try for 65 bones a bottle.

From thier web site:

Vintage 2003 “That is not the case for the 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape, which has the potential to be the finest Chateauneuf Guigal has produced. It reveals more power, richness, and intensity than any previous vintage, including the highly regarded 2000 and 1998. The deep ruby-hued 2003 reveals a big, sweet bouquet of kirsch, black currants, exotic Asian spices, and pepper. Made in a full-bodied, unctuous style with high glycerin as well as alcohol, it should offer lovely drinking upon release.” – (90-94) – The Wine Advocate by Robert M. Parker Jr – 12/04

* Eye : Deep dark red.
* Nose : Spices and mature red fruits.
* Palate : Round tannins with powerful complexity. A rich unctuous wine with notes of mature plums, hazelnuts and red fruits.
* Overall : Very rich wine full of harmony and balance.

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