80% Grenache, 20% combination of Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Syrah, Counoise and Vaccarèse. Some barriques. Extremely dark crimson. Very rich and voluptuous and spicy and gloriously fruity. A tarry top note on all the opulent ripe fruit underneath. Very lush and user-friendly with excellent tannin management. Some real thought in the winemaking here. Interesting wine but hot finish. Drink 2011-2018
The emperor of southern Rhône appellations, Châteauneuf du Pape was the first A.O.C. in all of France, created in 1936. Their bottle is unique embossed with the papal coat of arms. Thirteen varieties (14 if Grenache Blanc is counted separately) can be incorporated in the blend. The reds include: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, Terret Noir, Picpoul, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscardin, while the whites are Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Clairette. Only a handful of producers use all 13, Grenache often being the highest percentage of the blend. This enables each producer to highlight the varieties that are the ripest and most interesting in any given year. Most Châteauneuf du Pâpes are master examples of wines that can be approachable within the first few years of release yet able to develop superb complexity during many years of cellaring.