Explore The Wines Of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called “galets” in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard.
Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.
The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as “the pope’s new castle,” didn’t really stick until the 19th century.
~ Selections To Be Tasted ~
2013 Domaine Duclaux Les Couversets
The Duclaux family traces its history back to the 17th century from when Louis Duclaux was the Mayor of Chateauneuf du Pape in 1627. This notable position continued in the family until 1831. Jerome Quiot took over full responsibility for Domaine Duclaux in 1987 and in 2001 this domaine was given by the last owner of the Duclaux family to Jerome Quiot’s two children: Florence and Jean-Baptiste.
A particular distinction of Domaine Duclaux is that the vineyards are largely planted with the different varieties mixed together in the same parcel, which allows for later harvesting, with the grapes being much riper. As well, the variety of soil types ensures maximum quality of the grapes. All harvesting is done by hand, with very severe selection of the best grapes. This property is noted for its old vines, some of which reach over 100 years old.
Decanter 91 Points: Pale yellow and brilliant. Concentrated tropical fruit bouquet with hints of oak.Great aromatic fullness and liveliness on the palate, well balanced with an excellent persistence.
2016 Domaine Du Vieux Lazaret
The vineyards of Domaine du Vieux Lazaret are spread over 90 hectares, split into 35 different parcels of vines throughout Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is today amongst the largest domains in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with 80 hectares planted in red grape varieties and 10 planted with white grapes. The number of parcels enables the Domaine du Vieux Lazaret to give greater complexity to its wines due to the diversity of soils, grape types and differing ages of vines.
Harvesting of the grapes is done entirely by hand, with very strict selection of the best grapes to enhance the quality of the Domaine du Vieux Lazaret wine. This limits the maximum production, under the A.O.C laws, to 35 hectoliters per hectare.
Wine Enthusiast 93 Points: A blend of 45% Grenache Blanc, 30% Clairette, 20% Bourboulenc and 5% Roussanne, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Domaine du Vieux Lazaret is a traditionally styled wine made almost entirely in steel or concrete. Only the Roussanne is barrel fermented, but it does impart some honeyed richness to the otherwise neutral, citrusy blend. It’s full-bodied and round in the mouth, with attractive tangerine and lime notes and a bright, refreshing finish. It should drink well for a couple of years.
2015 Maison Brotte
Barville Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge
Maison Brotte was established in 1931 by Charles Brotte, who pioneered the bottling of Rhone wines for the appellation and four generations later, the business is still going strong with his grandson Laurent. Owned by Maison Brotte, Domaine Barville is the family property of Laurent Brotte, with 16 hectares situated in the heart of the Chateaneuf-du-Pape appellation on some of the areas’ most prized soils.
Robert Parker 93 Points: What should be a terrific value, the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Domaine Barville checks in as a mix of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre that was completely destemmed and aged in a combination of foudre, new barrels, old barrels and concrete tanks. It’s a charming, ripe, even sexy barrel sample that has terrific notes of plums, blackberries, garrigue and violets. Drink this soft, pleasure-bent beauty anytime over the coming 4-6 years.
2014 Domaine Bois De Boursan
The Bois de Boursan, founded in 1955 by Jean Versino, is a ten-hectare domaine with the entirety of its vineyards situated within the confines of the village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Working all of the permitted thirteen cepages for the appellation, the Versino family manages twenty-seven separate parcels of vineyards. The average age of the vines is in excess of fifty years.
The domaine is worked organically without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Further, the vinification is traditional to its core: the grapes for the red are not destemmed, the cuvaison extends for at least three weeks and the elevage in wood of varying size and age is eighteen months or longer. The wines, both red and white, are ageworthy.
Decanter 93 Points: Deeply herbal nose with some dark chocolate notes alongside red cherry, plum and strawberry, just a hint of surmaturité to the fruit. Transparent ruby-plum in colour. Very rounded and full in body, with an internal sweet ripeness. Ample acidity and remarkably muscular tannins bring balance and length. The tannins have a noticeable grain and a slight dryness.