02 Domaine du Pegau, Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge
Pegau was brave to bottle this wine when virtually everyone else left their grapes for dead in the washout of 2002. Little, however, separates the brave from the insane. I believe this miserable effort is the best southern Rhone could do in 2002--Pegau is, afterall, one of my favorite winemakers in all of France--so I will probably never buy a 2002 CdP again. It's a wine that improves with air even though it barely has the structure to support my sighing breath in the glass. A day's worth of maderization actually lends some semblance of fruit--albeit raisiny raspberries--and brine that bring comic heft to the otherwise empty, insipid pour. Upon opening, it's a limp cat dragging its behind across the carpet to clean itself. It drinks like a weak Cotes du Rhone, barnyardy on the nose and flacid on the palate. Though helped by good peppery minerality, the wine surrenders to ugly green tannins and a humid meat flavor more reminiscent of Bordeaux years past its prime.