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Decanting CDPs

Am having some friends over for a tasting. We know little about wine, but are interested, and will be drinking some Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and possibly others from Rhône. For instance, we'll have

2003 Domaine Grand Veneur CDP
2004 Château de la Grande Gardiole CDP

If we're mainly drinking these and other southern Rhône wine from 2003/2004, are there any best guesses about how long they should be decanted?

Recommendations from reviews on the Grand Veneur vary from 20 minutes to three hours. Ideally I imagine one would pour enough tastes over the evening so that folks can try the wine at multiple stages of decanting. But, in the case where there aren't sufficiently many pours, are there any best practices for decanting for these wine types? Or is this question nonsensical?

Also, has anyone tried the Grande Gardiole?

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  1. Because the wines are so young, I would decant them before the guests arrive and then pour it back in the bottle. By the time you are ready to pour they will be ready!

    1. Sorry if I wasn't clear: I am looking for suggestions on the specific length of decanting. For how long should I decant these wines?

      I don't understand enough about wine or about these young CDPs to know whether this question has a sensible, general answer, but would appreciate any suggestions.

      1 Reply
      1. re: benzipperer

        Unless I'd had the wine recently, I'd pour it immediately and let it open up in the glass.

      2. I would pour the wine into a decanter. Leave it for 10 minutes and then put it back in the bottle. Leave the bottle uncorked until you are ready to pour int the glass.

        This is what I do whenever I do a lot of big reds.

        1. I have to politely interject here... it seems that your only straightforward recommendation here has been "decant for 10 minutes."

          I strongly disagree...5
          These young CDP's you mention could benefit from up to 5-6 hours of time in the decanter before they reach their peak and then start to go downhill...

          So, in my opinion... Open the bottle(s) and pour it into a decanter about 4-5 hours before dinner and these young wines should be at their finest.

          Cheers, and enjoy!


          1 Reply
          1. re: ladymonty

            If a wine doesn't reach its peak until five hours after it's decanted, it's probably years away from being ready to drink.

          2. Justin,

            Thank you so much for interjecting. I have never had these wines, but I do a lot of tasting with huge red wines. Some people like to see how they develop in the glass and some don't. By decanting it for 10 minutes, it takes the edge off so the wine can develop in the glass. That works for me, when tasting 4-5 different wines at a time.

            That said, I have never had these wines, so I will most certainly defer to you when you say the wine could stand more time in the decanter.

            1. i agree with justin in the sense of maximizing the potential of the wine for drinking in one fell swoop, so to speak. however, if benzipper is doing this to learn about the wines, i think that it would behoove everyone there to witness the development and progression of the wine over a period of time in the glass.

              1 Reply
              1. re: HeelsSoxHound

                I strongly agree. One possible variation, that I use, when confronted with a wine, that I anticipate will need time in the decanter, but that I've not experienced, is to decant, and also pour myself a glass. As time passes, I'll refer to my reference glass, and try to pick the amount of time. Now, if you are going to be busy elsewhere, and you anticipate hours of decanting, you could have a small problem, but I've nursed the ref. glass while setting the table, doing other pre-dinner chores, etc. If the wine has begun to develop fully, and the guests are STILL not there, stick a stopper in the decanter to slow (albeit only slightly, as it is full of air and oxygen) its development.

                Also, remember that the "development" of a wine, is on the palate of the beholder, so everyone could well have different likes, and dislikes.


              2. Thanks for all the excellent suggestions! We ended up drinking these young CDPs after a couple hours of decanting, with good results.

                For what it's worth, the 2003 Domaine Grand Veneur Les Origines was outstanding. Smoky nose, full of dark berries and cocoa, with a long, slightly sweet but also minerally finish. Other people picked up on some raspberry and plum.

                Next time I aim to arrange for trying the wines at multiple stages of decanting.