Pronounced: “shat-toe-nouf due pap”.
If there is one French wine that everyone should try, it is probably Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
This beautiful French wine is known for its bold Grenache-based red blends. In fact, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region produces red and white wines from 13 different grape varieties.
What is Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine ?
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is widely regarded as the shining star of the Southern Rhône. It is one of the oldest wine appellations in France. Its name translates as “new castle of the pope”, referring to the time when Avignon was the seat of the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Clement V.
Steeped in a rich history, the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are made from a blend of the 18 authorised Rhodanian grape varieties. Grenache predominates in red wines, with Syrah and Mourvèdre contributing to the classic Rhône blend, but there are now more single-varietal Grenache wines.
What about taste ?
Plums, raspberries and blackberries are common flavours in Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, with secondary flavours of white pepper and mineral tones like salinity. Prestigious red wines are built to last. With bright fruit flavours and generous acidity in their youth, they can be cellared for decades.
We hope you find the above text useful. Of course, there’s more. We present a list of five great Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines that you will fall in love with.
This magnificent cuvée is made from the 13 grape varieties legally permitted by the rules of the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation. The fruit comes from a single plot in the northern part of the region, where old Mourvèdre vines predominate.
Beautiful black fruits such as blackcurrant, black plum and blackberry burst from the glass, accompanied by subtle hints of oregano, wild thyme and cedar wood. On the palate, this wine has a punchy body, robust tannins and a solid structure that will allow it to age beautifully for years to come.
Pair it now with hearty red meat dishes, such as prime rib, wild boar stew with fresh pasta or game.
Because of the brilliant streak of acidity and ripe tannins on the palate, this is a rich, intense Châteauneuf du Pape with great balance and poise. The nose is defined by succulent blackcurrant, blackberry and plum fruit, as well as notes of leather, dried violets and cigar box spice.
The medium body is balanced by a firm structure and a long finish, making it an excellent wine to keep for a few years or to drink now with charcuterie or red meat dishes.
After vinification, the young wine is aged for a year in a combination of foudres, demi-muids and neutral vats. This preserves the freshness and aromas of the grapes while adding polish and character through the oak.
The grapes are sourced from several parcels, each of which contributes unique characteristics to the incredible complexity of the wine. Meticulous analysis of the terroir has identified the best grape varieties and vineyard management techniques. The vines have an average age of 60 years.
This red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Cailloux, takes its name from the many rolled pebbles found in the vineyards, which inspired the name of the estate. It develops intense aromas of red fruits and a fine woody note on the nose. The fruit returns on the palate, along with complex aromas of garrigue, white pepper and orange peel. The tannins are elegant and well balanced. Try with filet mignon, lamb or duck.
To create a complex and multi-faceted wine, the family’s classic Châteauneuf du Pape comes from vineyards with four different soil types. The pebbly “galet” soils provide structure and body, the limestone adds minerality, and the clay and sand soils contribute to the elegance of the finished wine. After vinification, the wine is aged for 9-14 months in a combination of stainless steel vats and oak barrels.
The Brunel family has been winemakers since the 17th century, but it was not until 1945 that the famous wine merchant, Gaston Brunel, bought Château de la Gardine in Châteauneuf du Pape. The estate is now managed by two generations of Brunels: Gaston’s two sons and their wives, as well as his grandchildren.
This special cuvée is made from the fruit of the château’s oldest vines, planted on a plot called “Cadettes”. These 80 year old vines are mainly Grenache, with a little Syrah and Mourvèdre thrown in for good measure.
The fruit is hand-picked and vinified in a wooden vat before being transferred to a combination of large oak barrels and new oak barrels for a 12 month maturation period. On the nose, there are notes of leather, sweet spices and succulent dark berries, while the first sip reveals a generous body, robust tannins and a long, seasoned finish of cedar, smoked meat and toast.
The bold flavour profile of this wine makes it ideal for cellaring for another decade or two, but it can also be enjoyed now with a rich game or beef stew or barbecued ribs.