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Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a historic wine region located between the towns of Orange and Avignon, in France's southern Rhône Valley. It is famous for powerful, full-bodied red wine, largely made from the classic southern Rhône grape trio of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
The best Châteauneuf-du-Papes are among the most natural expressions of grapes, place and vintage. Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards are farmed organically or biodynamically, and the region's abundant sunshine and frequent wind (called le mistral) practically preclude the need for treating the fields with herbicides or pesticides. The wines themselves are equally pure, their flavors rarely masked by aging in new oak.
Domaine Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf du Pape 2018/2020
The Bois de Boursan, founded in 1955 by Jean Versino (Jean-Paul’s father), 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 age-worthy.
Domaine Brun-Avril Châteauneuf du Pape 2019
The Avril family has been in Châteauneuf since the fourteenth century (15 generations and counting). Domaine Brun-Avril, however, was established in 2008 and is run by husband & wife team, Nathalie Brun and Jean-Jacques Brun. Their 5 hectares were part of an inheritance, one that changed the course of their lives. After deciding that they wanted to preserve the family's holdings, they studied viticulture. Despite being new winemakers, their style is old school. They only produce one wine per vintage and do everything they can to let the wine speak for itself.
Chapelle St. Theodoric 'Les Sablons' Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2019
Red wine. Southern Rhône, France. Organic. 100% Grenache. "Looking at the 2019s, all of which are still aging in barrel, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Sablons can be thought of as the entry level Grenache. Destemmed and aged in older barrels, this round, mouth-filling, medium to full-bodied Grenache offers lots of red and black fruits as well as some meaty, spicy nuances.
Domaine du Banneret Châteauneuf du Pape 2020
Classic, old school Châteaneauf du Pape dating back to 1405 with no indications of chasing trends of high-octane “bigger is better” CdP’s of modern day. The wine shows restraint, leaning on its delicate and luxurious fruit, providing nuance and inquisition. Roasted fruits, espresso, strawberries, blackberries and flowers are both soft and imposing while classic garrigue, fine tannins and a lengthy finish are woven together for a memorable experience. The wine is then aged in oak barrels (from Burgundy) for at least 18 months, clarified by many decantations. This method gives finesse, power, and complex aromas, plus all the natural tannins. This is ultra-traditional, concentrated, flavorful Chateauneuf.
Famille Brunier Chateauneuf du Pape Piedlong 2020
The 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Piedlong is 90% Grenache from the lieu-dit le Pied Long (sometimes written as one word), plus 10% Mourvèdre from Pignan, so sandy soils—in contrast to Vieux Telegraph's preponderance of la Crau's galets roulés. At 50% whole bunches, it's a bit steammy and herbal but also soaring and gorgeous on the nose, with scents of roses, menthol, cherries and raspberries. Full-bodied but airy in feel and silky in texture, with a long, lingering finish, it looks to be pretty special this vintage.
Eric Texier Chateauneuf du Pape VV 2017
100% Grenache. From 80+-year-old vines in a north-facing parcel in the Crau in the NE part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on classic galets roulés soils. They are organically farmed and harvested by hand. Whole-cluster fermentation with native yeasts and no sulfur in concrete tank; 8-10-day maceration with no extractive techniques; aging in used barrels on the fine lees with no racking for 18 months; bottling without fining or filtration.
Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe 'La Crau' Châteauneuf du Pape 2020
Tasted as a tank sample of the final blend, the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau is a blend of approximately 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties, with about 30% whole bunches used in the ferments. Marked by ripe cherries and hints of complex garrigue notes on the nose, it's full-bodied but also really elegant, with fine-grained, silky tannins, ample concentration and a long, surprisingly crisp finish.
Luis Marin

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