Wine Review: Pere Anselme “La Fiole du Pape” Chateauneuf-de-Pape (NV)

23 03 2011

I basically paid $35 for this lovely glass bottle.

I admit the obvious: I bought this because it looked like a bottle of buried-treasure pirate wine.  I knew I was being taken in by pretty packaging, but I figured that this was from Chateauneuf-de-Pape, one of France’s most heralded wine regions, so it couldn’t be THAT bad…right?  I forgot that top wine regions are like luxury cars:  they don’t sell with gimmicks.  If you walk into a Lexus dealership, the salesman probably isn’t going to bother offering you purchase rebates or free gas for a year; his sales pitch is going to be “It’s a Lexus.”  Chateauneuf-de-Pape, located in the Rhone Valley in the southeast of France, is a Lexus wine region: it doesn’t need anything other than its name on the bottle to draw people in.  So when a Chateauneuf producer starts messing with the bottle itself to draw in sales, it’s probably not a good sign.

Another warning sign that I totally missed:  this is a non-vintage wine.  Almost all still wines come from a particular vintage (2006, 2009, etc.), which is the year that the grapes that went into making the wine were harvested.  Non-vintage wines are those made with grapes from more than one year’s harvest.  The only common NV wines on the market that I can think of are Champagnes and other sparkling wines, whose producers intentionally mix together base wines from different harvests when making their signature blends (called “cuvées”) so as to maintain a consistent house style or flavour “brand” year over year.  Non-sparkling wines don’t do this, and flavour variation vintage over vintage isn’t considered a bad thing.  Non-vintage still wines are a rarity, and those that exist are generally cheaply made and intended to be drunk shortly after release.  In other words, if you buy a bottle of white or red and there isn’t a year on the label, open it right away.

I didn’t do that; the Fiole du Pape has been languishing in my cellar for well over a year.  It is a common wine myth that all wine improves with age, but that is entirely untrue:  95% of wines on the market (this one included) are intended to be opened within 6 months of the date they show up on store shelves, and they show best within that timeframe.  The only good thing about my leaving my non-vintage, bottle-gimmick Chateauneuf-de-Pape too long is that it lets me answer a question that you might be asking right about now:  how can you tell when your wine has aged too much?

Cork Rating: 8/10 (Killer cork. Yay redeeming features!)

Wines that are past their prime taste flat, faded and lifeless, have none of the vibrant fruit flavours prevalent in younger wine and generally come across as dull and stale.  My Fiole was thin in body and was mainly garnet/brick in colour (older red wines gradually turn from purple to brown as they age).  The nose wasn’t very intense, but what little there was included dust, earth, coffee and dried strawberries.  There wasn’t much life on the palate either:  VERY low acidity (the component of wine that provides bright, zingy, tangy flavour), faded hints of dark fruit, and some metallic, coppery notes, like liquid pennies.  What flavour there was faded quickly, leaving only loose tannin on the finish.

In fairness, I should note that I’ve tried this wine once before and it wasn’t too bad, but in that situation the elapsed time between the Fiole being purchased and opened was probably 20 minutes.  If, like me, you don’t have the willpower to resist the pirate bottle, open it immediately…as I’ve just found out, a year is too long to wait with this one.  I dumped over half the bottle down the drain, and when I’m throwing away wine something’s definitely wrong.

77 points (but unfairly opened past its prime)

$30 to $40 CDN

[Wine Jargon Notes:
non-vintage = wine made from grapes that were harvested in multiple years; almost all still wines come from one single vintage, but many sparkling wines are non-vintage]
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140 responses

28 03 2011
S.

Interestingly enough, although my in-laws drink from this particular line, they don’t like this particular brand from the house of Chateauneuf-de-Pape. They actually prefer the Chateau de la Gardinier. If you’re willing to pay $45 (and that is the cheapest we have found it, at the Spy Hill Liquor Store right beside the Spy Hill Bottle Depot) I would suggest that one instead.

17 11 2015
Mike Gregg

You should do some research on NV wines; there are some excellent examples just waiting to contend with your bias.

17 11 2015
petervetsch

Hi Mike, I agree that there are some good examples of NV values out there – the L’Oustal Blanc Naick Rouge is a particular favourite of mine. However, I do think that the NV phenomenon is exceedingly rare in CNDP and don’t think it out of line to wonder whether a mass production NV wine from there is geared towards exploiting the luxury connotation of the region, especially when it is underwhelming in the glass. If you had a better experience with the Fiole that’s fair enough, but for close to $40 you can buy some absolutely killer wines, and for me this one didn’t come close to competing for that price. Thanks for reading!

16 11 2011
Lynn

Chateauneuf-du-Pape region (not a house). I had a bottle of Pere Anselme La Fiole last night that was perfectly divine. Bright cherry fruit dry acidic with wonderful soft earthy tannins that followed on the palate. It was lovely with a rich french onion soup. This particular wine was bottled in July 2010 it is aged 1-5yrs in barrels. Non-vintage is by no means an indication of lesser quality wine but simply regulated disclosure that multiple years are blended together. The bottle was interesting, a means of market differentiation. This is the largest volume seller in the region. Perhaps your bottle was just bad. We loved ours.

16 11 2011
petervetsch

I think it’s fair to say that by far the bulk of quality non-sparkling wine from top world wine regions like CNDP is vintage. I understand why a volume producer like Pere Anselme would make a wine like this non-vintage (to more easily maintain a consistent house style associated with the brand), but when I’m paying $40 for a bottle of wine I’m hoping for something with a little more possible range of expression. I don’t believe my bottle was faulty (or at least I didn’t get any overt indications that it was off); I just think it was past its prime. I did mention in the post that I had previously tried a non-cellar-aged bottle that wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t pay $40 for it either.

As you say, the Fiole du Pape is a huge seller, so many people have obviously had enjoyable wine experiences drinking it, and the bottle is fantastic, but in my own opinion I believe there are so many other more interesting, more complex, more expressive bottles available at this price point that it’s hard for me to sing the Fiole’s praises. Thanks for reading!

5 12 2016
Brighton Corgi

I am big fan of Rhone wines. I tend to like Northern Rhone better, but have plenty of CdP from all the big names in my cellar going back to the early 80’s. That being said, I have tried Pere Anselme La Fiole a few time and found it be nice elegant CdP.

Interesting enough, I do see so many varied reviews on this wine from great to crap… They use a high quality cork and I have aged this wine for a couple of years with no issue.

5 12 2016
petervetsch

Thanks for getting in touch, and I’m glad your experiences have been better than mine was. I wonder if the varying results on La Fiole are due in part to the variances in storage/handling conditions that the wine experiences due to its broad distribution and presence at numerous supermarket/non-specialty shops. Even so, I would argue that consistency is of prime importance for larger production wine, particularly one from a top region at a significant price tag (as compared to its mass production peers, at least). I didn’t note any cork issues with my bottle. Thanks for reading!

20 12 2011
Linda

Oh oh, I will be trying my bottles(4) at Christmas; trouble is I have had them for at least 3 years. Will be interesting.

21 12 2011
petervetsch

Let me know how it goes! I’m crossing my fingers for you that I just got a bad bottle…if your bottles turn out good, I may have to do a Fiole re-tasting. Cheers!

22 12 2011
Linda

Ok, just had the first of four bottles tonight; a little flat/thin, but smooth and enjoyable. So we will see how the next 3 bottles go over the holidays.

22 12 2011
petervetsch

Interesting…was there any fruit left to the wine? Was the finish bitter? Thanks for the update — glad it was still drinking OK!

6 01 2012
Linda

Ok, have now finished all the bottles I had of this wine; all the bottles tasted good; one I gave as a gift, the recipient said it was a great bottle of wine! Our family drank all 4 bottles over the holidays and we all enjoyed it. No bitter aftertaste but I do think it has lost some of the fruit taste – I didn’t get much of that in my tasting.

5 01 2012
Patrick Horn

I’ve had 3 bottles of la Fiole that I recall: two red and one white. I didn’t care for either reds and so I was a bit surprised that I didn’t have to choke back the white. White CnDP is a rarity so I was curious. I wouldn’t go out and buy the white but it was pleasant. However, I’m mostly a red wine drinker because I love the stuff in the skins of grapes and I might be less critical of a white. I really liked the Senechaux CnDP: it commanded my attention right away with its sheer class and peacock’s tail finish. I’ve got quite a few others in the cellar as the QPR is still good compared to Bordeaux or Burgundy. But with press from Jeb Dunnuck and Harry Karis I expect the prices will catch up to the traditional blue chip French wine regions.

5 01 2012
petervetsch

Thanks for the note and the Senechaux recommendation — I’ll definitely keep my eye out for it here! My CNDP QPR winner is probably Domaine de Ferrand, which is $45ish/bottle and dynamite. Totally agree with you re: a likely price increase, especially with the string of killer vintages they’ve had in the last decade: from 2003 onward only one vintage (2008) got a WS rating below 93, which is an amazing run of consistency. Cheers!

5 08 2012
Leo
5 08 2012
petervetsch

Not sure I follow — the review you linked to bears no resemblance to mine. Mine was posted a year or so before this other one, but they’re not remotely alike. Was the link correct?

5 08 2012
Leo

Don’t know what I was thinking. Delete the post if you can. Sorry.

20 12 2012
Jasmine

I have just received a bottle of this as a holiday gift and am eager to try it. Will take your advice and open it as soon as possible…will share my experience!

20 12 2012
petervetsch

Please do, Jasmine! I just heard from someone who said their bottle was pretty good, so my fingers are crossed for you!

31 12 2012
Guy

me and my girlfriend are going to try this wine tonight on the new year
2013

2 02 2013
Giovanni

I agree whole heartedly agree with your review of La fiole. Quite disappointing, I wish I had Googled it before buying it! This is the first time I have tried it and I wanted a good wine to accompany my Gorgonzola topped steak and it was a toss up between La fiole and one of my old faithful standby “Amorone della Valpolicell (which where I live is a bit pricier). Oh well, live and learn right? Cheers or Salute!
Giovanni el bevitore di vino buono : )

13 07 2013
g722

I just actually returned from France and spent some time in Chateauneuf-du-Pâpe – and was looking online for a place to buy La Fiole when I came across this page. No doubt I had it in its prime while tasting at the Brotte Musée du Vin, but it was delicious by itself. Not something to stand next to a great vintage Chateauneuf-du-Pâpe, but very drinkable and enjoyable.

I doubt I’d pay $40 for it, but the prices I’m seeing on line (in the states) are closer to $30. I might pay that, if just for the memory of my trip. For someone with a wine blog, it’s funny that you state how much you don’t know, i.e., you didn’t even realize it was non-vintage. Really? You just figured you’d cellar it for a while because it was from a particular region and you didn’t even check the date (oops! there isn’t one!)? I might as well pretend I’m a bread connoisseur and review a loaf that’s been drying for a week. In short – very lame review.

13 07 2013
petervetsch

Thanks for the note – I’m glad your experience with the wine was better than mine. Even at discount retailers in Canada, this bottle retails for over $35, making it an extraordinarily poor value proposition in my opinion compared to the legions of quality bottles available for less. Based on the other comments to this post, I think the bottle of Fiole that I reviewed wasn’t showing its best, but to me it remains a wine of below average quality whose price tag is only based on the regional name on the label. This remains the only bottle of non-vintage CNDP I’ve ever come across, and I got it before I started formally tracking all of the bottles I purchased and consumed. You’re right: the oversight was mine in not noticing the lack of a vintage date on the bottle. That said, one would expect that ANY bottle of CNDP could hold up for two years without completely falling apart, and this one failed that test miserably. Hope you had a good trip!

30 12 2014
Adam Daw

What a classy response. Absolutely zero sarcasm. Will definitely be coming back to your blog!

30 12 2014
terrerouge

What a classy response – seriously! Will definitely be subscribing to your blog.

30 12 2014
terrerouge

Not sure how the double post occurred – please disregard.

30 08 2013
simon

La Fiole originated in the 1950’s by Pére Anselme, in collaboration with glass craftsmen and ceramists the original bottle design was shaped to resemble the Rhône Valley vine plants. This wine is non vintaged because it is a blend of the best “cuvées” from different vintages. Therefore the constant high quality from one year to another explains its worldwide success: it is one of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape bottles the most sold in the World.

I personally prefer vintage chateauneuf, it is very hard to beat but appreciate a fresh bottle of fiole during the holidays, great supper wine.

It is slightly overpriced due to its history and overall presentation but should not disapoint in its delivery. It can be a treat to compare year to year.

my 2 cents…

31 08 2013
petervetsch

Thanks for the note, Simon — I appreciate the feedback and the information!

8 09 2013
S. Mac

Had this wine years ago and I loved its richness. Was intrigued by the bottle. Got it as a gift 5 months ago. Not as fruity and rich as I remembered and it seemed rather thin. It still is very good. I’m enjoying it.

8 09 2013
petervetsch

I’m glad you’re enjoying it, and definitely agree that the bottle is a work of art.

9 09 2013
joanne

i have had a bottle of the La Fiole du Pape for 8years…it was given to me as a prewedding gift..theres no date on it..so do u think it might be poison now?

9 09 2013
petervetsch

I don’t think it would be poison, but I also doubt it would be much fun to drink — it will have likely lost its fruit and have little left behind it. I would definitely open it ASAP, as it will not get better with age.

19 11 2013
Ron Wingrove

I bought a bottle in Marseille back in the 1980’s and kept it for many years. When I finally drank it, it was an absolute delight and nothing like the descriptions of your emails.

Have just bought another bottle from M&S for £25. This time though, I will open it sooner rather than later

Ron W

19 11 2013
petervetsch

Thanks for the note, Ron — I’m glad your bottle held up better than mine did! Entirely possible that I just opened a bad bottle, but I’ve had the Fiole on other occasions too and have never been thrilled with it. Thanks for reading,

Peter

3 12 2013
Chris Dunn

I received a bottle of La Fiole and drank it soon after, and it tasted somewhat past its prime. There are a lot of bottles of wine at that price point that give more value. The strangest thing to me was the fact that the vintner would go to all the trouble of spraying some kind of carbon/dirt mixture on the bottle to make it appear older. It got all over my hands and we had to dispense the wine wrapped with paper towels. That, along with the nonvintage status, made me think the producer was trying to put one over on the consumer.

21 12 2013
Andrew Tirzansky

I prefer Chateau de la Gardine. It is about the same price. Although the La Fiole is very enjoyable. Sobey’s liquor store has it on sale for $29.00. It’s a good price.

There is another La Fiole. It sells for about $18.00. It is very good and affordable.. While the bottle is not frosted, it is of the same shape.

1 01 2014
petervetsch

Agreed, Andrew – Chateau de la Gardine is way more enjoyable (and also features a cool bottle) for the same price. Much more true to the region too IMO. Cheers!

21 12 2013
Andrew Tirzansky

by the way, La Fiole means flask.

24 01 2014
Melinda Jester

Yes, the bottle is cool and going on my wine bottle chandy that i received as a gift. I also did not notice..no vintage. Didn’t matter…I opened immediately and loved it, but my palate is not as discriminating as all of the above. $23.00 from Costco.

24 01 2014
petervetsch

Glad you enjoyed, Melinda – thanks for reading!

28 01 2014
MARIA GUADALUPE MARTINEZ

LupitaMÉXICO:
My sister have give a present two days ago: a lovely bottle of Pere Anselme “La Fiole du Pape” Chateauneuf-de-Pape. She has it from many, many years ago in her house. And she gave me for celebrate my wedding anniversary, the Vaelntine’s day.
I hope, this bottle will be better than yours.

1 02 2014
Jean B.

We received a bottle of this 5 months ago as a wedding present and only just opened it. We were so put off by the messy bottle that it stayed on the shelf this long. I started “spring” cleaning today and this was on the list. A bit thin and flat, not real fruity. It is however very soft on the palate and not too tannic. Enjoyable but glad I didn’t have to pay for it. I enjoyed reading your blog, thanks.

1 02 2014
petervetsch

Hi Jean, your experience with the bottle sounds similar to mine – thanks for sharing, and for reading! Cheers,

Peter

2 02 2014
Mark

Hi, can’t we know at all how old is a fiole du pape bottle, because my parents gave me two bottles that were stored for more than 25 years.

3 02 2014
petervetsch

Some other non-vintage wines like Champagnes may have a bottling date on them, but I don’t know if the Fiole does.

21 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Co-op has La Fiole du Pape on sale for $28.90 right now. Good price. I picked one up. I just hate the gimmicky dirt on the bottle. It is not a bad wine it is just gimmicky. Ha ha. My wine drinking days are about to end. I’m going for cataract surgery. Enjoy yous

23 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

I am enjoying a glass of La Fiole du Pape right now. It is not a bad wine just too costly. Try La Fiole Cotes du Rhone and have the price. It is also a Pere Anselme.

23 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

at half the price. Oops.

23 02 2014
petervetsch

Agreed that price is a big problem with the Fiole du Pape. There’s just so much better wine you can buy for $30-$40.

23 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

I have a bottle or Pierre Usseglio 2006 in the wine rack. Do you know anything about this wine Peter?

23 02 2014
petervetsch

Sorry, I don’t; I’ve never tried it. If it’s the CNDP it should be in a great place to drink right now though!

23 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Yes it is a Chateau Neuf. Can’t remember when I bought it. Have several bottles that I have collected including a La Bernardine

23 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Where are you located Peter?

23 02 2014
petervetsch

I’m in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Thanks for all the comments on the site – certainly appreciate the feedback! Cheers!

23 02 2014
Amdrew Turzamsky

Ha ha, I’m in Edmonton!!!

23 02 2014
petervetsch

Lol, small world! That’s where I’m from originally. Where do you shop for wine there?

23 02 2014
Amdrew Turzamsky

The Co-op wine store. There is one in south Edmonton that is really nice. Great lay out of wine. I bought a membership for a buck. Very nice store. I have a lake cottage a Pigeon lake. I convinced my buddy at the Thorsby liquor store to bring some Les Brottiers and La Fiolle du Rhone. His prices are about $3.00 a bottle less that in town. Alas, I am the only one buying the wine!!!

23 02 2014
petervetsch

Heh, I grew up visiting Pigeon Lake in the summer – my aunt and uncle have a cottage at Ma-Me-O Beach. Fantastic that you’re bringing the Rhone to Thorsby!! That’s awesome. Co-op has really taken huge strides over the past couple years to step up their game in the wine department…their new stores and tasting rooms are gorgeous.

23 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

I’m at the north end of Pigeon. On the Mulhurst side. Love it there in the winter. The mule deer have a highway through my lot. Last week I counted nine walking past my picture window!! !Have many great photos of them. I am retired now and enjoy the lake cottage more than ever.

23 02 2014
Amdrew Turzamsky

I am a beer drinking Albertan who discovered French red at my daughter’s wedding at the Hotel MacDonald. Enjoy a glass or two with supper. I started with Merlot and ended up with Cote du Rhone. Just love it. Chateau Neuf is definitely a favourite. La Brottier is another that I like.Rasteau, Valcyuers (okay, can’t remember the spelling but I am sure you know what I mean). Heritage is another. Any thing from Vaucluse is great. La Fiole du Pape is very pleasant and I would pick it up on sale but not at its regular price.

23 02 2014
petervetsch

If you ever come across anything from Saint Cosme (their Gigondas or their Cotes du Rhone “Les Deux Albion” especially), Domaine de Ferrand or Bosquet des Papes, give them a shot — all under $50 (Les Deux Albion is like $22) and stunning. For an ultra-killer deal, keep your eye out for Le Devoy from Domaine Andre Aubert — also Southern Rhone, absolutely delicious, and less than $15. I’ve written up a past vintage of it on here, but the current release is great as well: https://popandpour.ca/2012/07/23/wine-review-2010-domaines-andre-aubert-le-devoy/.

23 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

I am saving this e-mail. Thanks buddy,

Andrew

27 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Picked up a bottle of Le Devoy today. Yep under $13.00 2011 vintage. Looking forward to trying it yet with some Trepidation after reading you review.

Question, why can’t I sign up to your free newsletter?

27 02 2014
petervetsch

Awesome!! Let me know what you think of it. No radiation poisoning – I promise.

I don’t have a newsletter…do you mean subscribe to the blog? If so, I know it’s worked for others recently — could be a temporary WordPress glitch. If it doesn’t work tomorrow let me know and I’ll follow up.

28 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

I am enjoying a glass of Le Devoy. And no My eyes aren’t glowing in the dark. For the price it is a great deal. Pleasant wine but I would call it “light.” Not much body to it yet very tasty. I still prefer La Fiole du Cote du Rhone, although I would definitely buy it again.

I like it Peter. You beat the price!

28 02 2014
petervetsch

Phew! I agree the Le Devoy isn’t a world-beater and more in the medium-bodied, red-fruit camp, but I’ve always really enjoyed every bottle I’ve opened. And when your price neighbours are Barefoot and Yellow Tail, that’s a home run! Cheers Andrew!

P.S. If fuller Cotes du Rhone is more your thing, check out the Halos de Jupiter CdR I reviewed earlier this month. Polar opposite in style from Le Devoy, massive and high alcohol, but excellent.

28 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Beat you to it on the Jupiter. Great wine. The just came out with another. Don’t know what it is. I will need to try it.

28 02 2014
petervetsch

Oh nice. I’d like to try Cambie’s Jupiter CNDP, Adrastee, at some point – he does things with Grenache I’ve never come across before. I’ll definitely grab any others I can find.

28 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

I do like the La Devoy however. Being so light it goes down like a light beer. Not good this. Much more alcohol than light beer!!!

28 02 2014
Andrew Turzansky

can’t beat the price that is.

1 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Peter, what do you think of Belleruche? It’s a Chapoutier like La Bernardine a Chateau Neuf.

1 03 2014
petervetsch

Never had it, unfortunately, but I’m a big Chapoutier fan. His Bila-Haut side project in the Languedoc (southern France) is stellar value — the Occultum Lapidem from that label is amazing. Have you had the Belleruche? Recommend?

1 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Yes I have. Very nice and affordable. I also love the Bila Haut. I think that you would like the Belleruche. Full bodied wine. Great with stinky cheese, ha ha. Checked out the Jupiters today. They have two new ones on the shelf. One is a Rasteau and the other a G something. Quite pricey. I actually bought a bottle of Les Halo one time which had gone terrible bad. I opened the bottle and this terrible musky smell came out. I had this wine before and it was quite good. I poured out the last bottle I bought and haven’t gone back.

1 03 2014
petervetsch

Yikes. If a wine is faulted like that you should be able to re-cork it and take it back to the store for a refund…they can send it back to the agent. I’d like to try the Halos Rasteau — from a very similar area as the CdR. I’ll keep an eye out for the Belleruche! Thanks!

2 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Went to Wine and beyond and froze. Just kidding. Picked up a couple of bottles. One is Cotes du Rhone Village from Chateau de la Gardine. Bottle is the same shape as the CNDP yet half the price. The other a bit pricey, Famille Perrin Gigondas. Do you know anything about these?

Andrew

2 03 2014
petervetsch

I haven’t had either bottle, but I have had the Ch de la Gardine CNDP and it’s great for the price, super delicious. Anything the Perrins do is likely to be good — they own Chateau Beaucastel, one of the landmark CNDP houses. I bet you both bottles will be solid.

2 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

By the way. I am having a glass of Belleruche right now. I think that you would like it. It is so smooth. Prices are crazy. I bought my bottle at the Do-0p for about $22.00 and saw it today at wine and beyond for about $65.00!!!

4 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Popped the cork on Cotes du Rhone Viillages, du Chateau de la Gardine with supper. Man this one is a killer. It is not CNDP but it is just delicious. It is also about half the price of their Chateau Neuf du Papes.

6 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Opened a 2011 bottle of Le Devoy tonight. Yikes musty musty!!! Starting to develop a complex. Two bottles in two weeks. I was tempted to pour it out but, according to your advice, I re-corked it and will take it back.

6 03 2014
petervetsch

Good call. Definitely not supposed to taste like that. I’ve had a half dozen bottles of Devoy 11 over the last year and a half and never had one be musty like that. Bad luck!

6 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Popped open the Famille Perrin after the Le Devoy was undrinkable. It’s a Gigondas. At $37.00 it isn’t worth it. The Cotes du Rhone Village from la Gardine is much better at $10.00 less. Also a neat bottle.

10 03 2014
petervetsch

Hey Andrew, new one for you: Chateau Pesquie Quintessence 2011 from Ventoux in the Southern Rhone. Big like the Halos (15.5%) but delicious and with tons of structure – could probably go another decade if you wanted. I got it on sale but I think it’s $30 or so regular.

10 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Thanks Peter. Will try to find it. By the way. La Fiole, not the La Fiole du Papes is making a hit in Thorsby. I think the old retirees there like the shape of the bottle. Ha ha.

10 03 2014
petervetsch

Lol, as long as they’re happy that’s all that matters!

10 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

LoL is right. The Thorsby liquor store is old. Not much selection. My brown friend who owns it doesn’t even drink. I have been trying to help him out by suggesting simple things like signs for new products. His prices are great. He sells La Fiole for about $16.00 which is at least two bucks cheaper than here in Edmonton. I am also trying to convince him to have a wine month. Sell the French for about a buck off. He should also advertise in the Thorsby Target, a local pamphlet which is given out free. Nothing. He doesn’t seem interested. He now has competition in town. Another liquor store opened up along the highway to the lake. Much better location. I feel sorry for the guy. His store is on main street. He really needs to set himself apart.

I am slowly introducing French to his store. First came Les Brottiers which he sells for about $15.00. Now the La Fiole. Next time I’m there I will recommend Cotes du Rhone Village, la Gardine domaine. A very good wine in a great bottle. He will have to charge more for it so I don’t know if he will go along. Seeing as the good folks in Thorsby like their bottle shapes, perhaps it may sell. The poor sob drives in from Edmonton everyday.

13 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Bought a bottle of Domaine de la Janasse. A cndp. Do you know anything about it. Thanks Oh yes, 2006

13 03 2014
petervetsch

Dom Janasse is an excellent producer, one of the best in the region. I haven’t had the 06 but have had a couple others from them, one a 04 Vielles Vignes CNDP which was dynamite. I’m sure yours would drink great now but would also last for at least another decade if you wanted.

17 03 2014
George

hello Jenni
I have a bottle 1990
what u think this is worth today

George

19 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

It’s probably vinegar by now.

19 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Bought a bottle of Chateau Pesquie Quintessence 2011. You are right, $30.00 a bottle. Curiously the kid at the store did not recommend it. Looking forward to trying it after my cataract surgery!!! Ha ha

19 03 2014
petervetsch

The kid at the store is crazy. It’s awesome. Let me know what you think. Also, Superstore is now carrying the Halos de Jupiter CdR – $17-18!!! Good luck on your surgery!

20 03 2014
Adam Wander

Great and honest review ! my 90 year old father in law bless him went into marks and Spencers and asked for their best bottle then spent 30 minutes cleaning it as he thought it was dirty ! gave it to me .. will try tonight

26 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

New little shop opened up in Riverbend. I went there to check it out and found a very poor selection of Cotes du Rhone. I left him with a list. I went back today, two weeks later and was stunned by the fact that he had brought in all the wine I recommended. In addition, his prices are $3.00 to $4.00 cheaper than what you can get at the Co-op or Wine and beyond. And the latter two benefit from economies of scale!!!

Moral of the story, check out your local strip mall store. Give them a list of your favourites. You just might be pleasantly surprised.

26 03 2014
petervetsch

That’s awesome!! Great story – I would have never thought to do that. I bet some of those guys appreciate the assistance (and people taking an interest).

26 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Oh yes, felt compelled to buy a couple of bottles of Cote du Rhone Village. This is truly a good wine under $30.00. Will have to wait until after my next eye surgery on Monday to try it. Let’s go back to the purpose of this blog. My brown little friend brought in La Fiole du Pape. This is no way is meant to cast anything against the man. He is very nice. My kids went to school with brown people who wore this title as a badge of honour. Anyway, La Fiole du Pape. He is selling it for $40.00. $7.00 less than Co-0p and $8.00 less than Wine and Beyond. I never meant to have him order this bottle. I meant the vintage Cotes du Rhone La Fiole. Vintage wine, same bottle shape, less the crud and selling for less than $20.00. I am going to pop over there tomorrow with a bottle, empty, so he can see what it looks like. 40 bucks for a bottle of La Fiole du Pape is not bad. Yet it is still not worth it. Cotes du Rhone Village is now my house red.

29 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Picked up a bottle of Gerard Bertrand, Grand Terroir 2010, Montpeyroux today. Very pleasant but overpriced. A new guy opened up a liquor store in the neighbourhood so he is offering 20% off for a limited time. It’s a steal at this price. Have you ever tried it?

29 03 2014
petervetsch

No I haven’t – how much does it usually sell for? I’ll keep my eye out.

29 03 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Just under $30.00. Very light. Only 13.5% but very pleasant. Mediterranean product. Quite fruity. Worth a try. Had a glass with chicken and fries tonight. Chicken had barbecue sauce. Not sure if it went well. I sipped on a couple of glasses post chicken and quite liked it. Give it a try Peter and let me know. Thanks, Andrew

1 04 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Opened my bottle of Quintessence tonight to celebrate the successful cataract surgery on both eyes. I am not sure what to make of it. It’s a good wine but there is something there that just does not agree with me. I guess that I am just an old Cotes du Rhone wino!!! I know that I could acquire a taste for Quintessence. The second glass will probably taste much better. Ha ha!!!

1 04 2014
petervetsch

Congrats on the successful surgery! Sorry the Quintessence didn’t quite do it for you. For me it seemed quite similar to the Halos de Jupiter but with a bit more savoriness/ageworthiness thanks to the higher Syrah component. Hopefully it improves as the bottle empties!

2 04 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Hi Peter,

The surgery must have affected my taste buds. The Quitessance is just divine tonight. I just don’t understand how that works. It is a fine wine. Funny it didn’t taste that way yesterday the day after my eye surgery.

2 04 2014
petervetsch

Phew! I was worried I was wasting your money!

3 04 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Hi Peter,

I think I figured it out. It all depends upon how long you let the wine breathe. I left the Quintessance open for an hour the first night. Another hour the second night. That is when it tasted just divine. How long to you suggest that I leave the bottle opened?

3 04 2014
petervetsch

I’m probably the wrong person to ask because I tend to be less inclined than most to let wines breathe. That said, I would think that a wine like that wouldn’t need more than an hour, two at most. My palate tends to prefer most wines fresh from the bottle with the exception of those that are super tight at first.

6 04 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Out at Pigeon lake yesterday I popped into the tiny liquor store in Mulhurst Bay. Purchased a CNDP, Louis Bernard, 2011 for just a bit over $32.00. Thought it was a good deal. Do you anything about this wine Peter?

Thanks

6 04 2014
petervetsch

I don’t, sorry – release price was close to $40US though, so you definitely got a solid deal! Any CNDP for $32 (Fiole excepted) has to be a decent bargain…

19 04 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Opened the Louis Bernard CNDP that I picked up in Mulhurst. Wonderful and at a very good price. I was wrong the last time. It was $31.00. Will pick up a couple of more bottles next time I’m out at the cottage. You should try it Peter. It will not disappoint.

19 04 2014
petervetsch

I’ll keep my eye out for it! Happy Easter!!

19 04 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Happy Easter to you as well!!!

Hope the Easter Bunny brings you some wonderful Chateau Neuf!!!

25 04 2014
2007Jeep

Way off topic Peter. I tired an Innes and Gunn Smokin’ Gunn. Aged for 78 days “in bourbon barrels and finished with Maple syrup.” Wowzers. Each 330ml bottle comes in a card board box. Pour in high into a brandy glass and enjoy it. I’m sold. Okay, it is a beer.

25 04 2014
petervetsch

I love Innis and Gunn!! I’ve never had that one though – sounds unbelievable (I love bourbon too). Thanks for the tip!

25 04 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Have no idea what happened there. Pour it high

5 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Picked up a 2005 Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone Village for just over $20.00. I have a CNDP de la Janasse 2006. Have you ever heard or the tried the non CNDP wine?

6 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Opened the bottle of 2005 Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone Village tonight. Wonderful!!! Well worth the price. I suspect its age made it so smooth. Will go to Wine and Beyond to pick up a couple of more bottles tomorrow. Let me know what you think.

6 05 2014
petervetsch

Hey Andrew, I’ve never had the Janasse CdR but have always enjoyed their CNDP – fantastic producer. Glad to hear the 05 CdRV is holding up well – pretty rare for a CdR to have a decade long shelf life!

7 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Hey Peter,

I finished my bottle of de la Janesse tonight. Best under $30.00 bottle of wine that I have purchased. Vintage 2005. Noticed something from the bottom of the bottle. Crud, purple crud. Is this normal. Nevertheless the wine is wonderful.

7 05 2014
petervetsch

Totally normal – it’s just (harmless) sediment from compounds in the wine that precipitate out with bottle age, like tartrates, tannin, colour pigments, etc. It’s the main reason why you would decant older wines: not to let them “breathe”, but to separate them from their sediment. Not a fault, but a natural consequence of age. Cheers!

7 05 2014
petervetsch

I just opened a bottle of 1980 Niepoort Vintage Port (a birth year wine for me that was a bday gift) – you should have seen the sediment on that!! It was like a shag carpet in the bottom of the bottle. Had to pour the wine through cheesecloth to make it drinkable.

7 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Ha ha, try they la Janasse Peter. 2005 is wonderful. Wine and beyond have many others.. Prices vary way up to $70.00 depending upon the year. I’ll take 2005 anytime!!!

16 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

I think someone is trying to hijack your site. it’s really annoying getting this crap on my BB.

16 05 2014
petervetsch

Yeah, spam bots swooping in. I delete as quickly as I can, but that’s a bad part about WordPress.

16 05 2014
andrew turzansky

Good luck. Can’t believe how quickly this came on.

16 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Happy Victoria’s Day! How do send you an attachment of Dieter the deer. Frequent visitor to my yard at the lake.

16 05 2014
petervetsch

You too! You can always send me any deer pics via email – petervetsch at gmail dot com. Cheers!

19 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Let’s get back to wine Peter. The other stuff was just an ambush to you successful blog. Enjoyed my Domaine de la Janasse 2005 tonight. The heel of the bottle had a lot of sludge. I suppose that this is normal?

19 05 2014
petervetsch

Yes, certainly normal for a bottle that old to throw some sediment like that. Part of the reason why older reds are lighter colored is that some of their pigment precipitates out via sediment.

24 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

It’s been quiet these days. I’m not getting e-mails of all sorts for promotions. Perhaps they have left you alone.
Picked up a bottle of Les Gardettes, Chateau de Montfaucon, 2009. It was a very pleasant surprise. Very light wine perfect for sipping on the deck during summer. Young wine at an affordable price. Just don’t make the mistake to drink it with barbecue chicken wings!!!

26 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

New one for you Peter. Coudoulet de Beaucastel 2011, Famille Perrin. Superb but a bit pricey. Under $30.00

26 05 2014
petervetsch

I have had the Coudolet – it’s awesome. It’s the little brother of the iconic CNDP Chateau de Beaucastel, which is pricy ($85-$90) but worth the splurge if you ever get the chance to grab it for a special occasion. If you search this site I did a write up of a vertical Beaucastel tasting (many vintages of the same wine), which was unreal. The Perrins make some amazing juice!

27 05 2014
And

Peter I picked up a bottle of Les Sinards, CNDP. It’s a Famille Perrin. The bottle does not have the usual CNDP crest on it. It’s 2010. Have you tried it?

27 05 2014
petervetsch

No, but it got 93 points in Wine Spectator, and the tasting notes sound delicious!! Supposed to be able to last for another decade plus too. Let me know what you think when you open it!

28 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Hi Peter, Getting really annoyed by the individuals who have hijacked your site. I keep getting e-mails from them. Tried something new tonight. About $20.00.Tardieu Laurent, 2006. Cote du Rhone. Quite pleasant at an affordable price. Hare you tried it? Big bottle. Wonder what the do with these when we take them back. Wonder if they send them back to France?

28 05 2014
petervetsch

They email you personally? Seriously? Wow, sorry about that – it’s been and recently because I haven’t had time to post new content. I’ll get on it when I can. I’ve had T-L wines before and they’re excellent: they’re negociants who have access to some of the Rhone’s top vineyards. Is the 06 CdR still holding up OK after 8 years?

28 05 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Yep. Really good wine for the price. I like trying something new once in a while. This is good wine. It was $21.00 plus the usual. I was really pleasantly surprise.

Yep your hijackers are sending me e-mails although I cancelled notifications from your site. Ha ha. No such thing as cancellation. Take care buddy.

1 06 2014
David Passalacqua

I have been drinking this wine for some 20 years and I love it its an enjoyable wine consistent for the table.

11 06 2014
Andrew Turzansky

Unsubscribed. I was getting too much crap on a daily basis. Bepi Casoriol at the G&M Gave Plan Dieu a good rating. Pleasant wine with a synthetic cork. Turned me right off Peter. It is very light and would be good for drinking on the patio during the summer. Just not something that I have become accustomed to with Cotes du Rhone.

11 06 2014
petervetsch

Sorry about the spam, Andrew – I have contacted WordPress but they appear hopeless. Shame about Plan Dieu…the trouble with CdR is it’s such a broad category that it comes in all forms!

8 06 2016
Arthur G Szabo

So we are planning a dinner party for Saturday night, all guests like and know their wine. Thought I would serve different wines from the Rhone valley, knowing that they may be quite different, but that is the whole point. So I looked in my repository and found two that looked good, a Crozes Hermitage (2010) and a CNDP Mas de Boislauzon (2010). Reviews on line also looked like they would be good and we would be able to compare Northern to Southern Rhone as one factor in the process. I expect that the CNDP will be superior. However, in my collection I found a bottle of La Fiole du Pape. Was likely given it when hosting a party several years ago. So it has been lying down for about 4 years! realized that it did not have a vintage year – puzzled. So went on line and found your site -long story to get here! You really had a bad experience. My bottle that I opened tonight for no reason at all except I would be wary about opening it for our wine friends because of your critique. So I am now drinking by myself. It is actually quite pleasant, not overly acidic, tannins in the background, reasonable balance, very good ruby colour, not much nose but maybe at my age that could be a problem. It is pleasantly fruity, has a slight astringent aftertaste, but all in all it was quite good. Now the trick will be to remember the experience and relate it to Saturday when I open the Mas de Boislauzon. BTW the second glass was better than the first. I believe that it had to open up somewhat.

8 06 2016
petervetsch

Thanks for the detailed thoughts – I love hearing about other people’s experiences with the wine. I agree with you that the bottle I had must not have been in ideal shape, and many have said that their experiences have been better than mine was, which I accept. The one thing I would say is that, for a CNDP that clears $40 in some spots in this market, it’s probably fair to expect more than a pleasant-drinking, lower-acid, not overly aromatic, slightly astringent wine (which I think is an excellent description, btw). Still glad yours turned out better than mine and appreciate you taking the time to let me know!

9 06 2016
Arthur G Szabo

I agree with you 100%. I would never purchase La Fiole du Pape. Much better CNDP out there for not much more than one pays for the Fiole. I’ll let you know how the Mas de Boislauzon was.

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