Diane (Long Island) wrote:It was sour - "what is grapefruit doing in my Chateauneuf du Pape?" I have only heard raves about this wine, but there will be no raving (except in anger) for the ones I opened. Bummer!
Diane--I'm no expert on CdP, but according to a few sources (including Robin), the wine frequently shuts down between (roughly) the fifth and seventh years after vintage. Meaning, I guess, you might be better off trying it before it turns five or after it turns eight. Some tasters say the '98 CdPs, for example, are just now starting to come to. Your bottles may have indeed been flawed, but sourness could also be a function of wine that's shedding its youthful fruit but hasn't yet picked up secondary nuances, leaving it acidic but perhaps flavor-deficient. The fact that your two bottles showed so similarly might support my guess. If you've got more bottles, don't give up hope. And FWIW, I don't know (and believe me, I've asked) of any sources for dumb-phase rules of thumb that apply to other red wines, although the Johnson/Robinson World Atlas of Wine
shows a suggestive drinkability chart for Bordeaux with a dip around age seven.