CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE; A FRENCH WINE THAT IS WORTH TASTING
Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a French AOC wine produced in Vaucluse which is a wine-growing region of the southern Rhone Valley, the first French wine appellation created in 1936. The Chateauneuf-du-Pape designation of origin has the status of an independent appellation, it is the largest AOC appellation of the Rhone valley, and it is also among the most prestigious Appellations in France.
The name Châteauneuf-du-Pape came from Catholic history; when the Pope moved from Rome to Avignon; which is translated as the ‘new castle of the Pope’
For the production of red Chateauneuf-du-Pape, thirteen different grape varieties can be used, which are harvested and vinified separately and finally blended into a Cuvee.
The most important and dominant vine variety is Grenache with over 70 % share. It is mixed with Mourvedre and Syrah, a little amount of cinsault brings the delicacy.
The first three grape varieties create a perfect balance between acidity, alcohol content, tannins, and great wines that "blend" with ageing. Nine other grape varieties are permitted, such as the rare Counoise, Brun Argenté, Muscardin, Terret Noir, e.t.c
Grenache produces wines that are comparatively low in acidity and rich in alcohol. The colour and tannin content varies because it depends on how high the proportion of dark-coloured, tannin-rich varieties such as Syrah and Mourvedre is in the Cuvee and whether the grapes have been separated from the stems or not.
The Grenache and other grape variety achieve a strong expression in Chateauneuf-du-Pape because they find here the ideal conditions perfect for them: warm soils (the driest region in Cotes du Rhone), and generous sunshine (2800 hours per year).
It has warm soils because they are covered with tiny pebbles which retain heat at night which definitely keep the vines warm throughout the day, which results into the production of wines that are rich, ripe and balanced.
A red Chateauneuf-du-Pape can unfold the aromas of ripe fruits and complex spicy notes in good vintage and with favourable development. Although the wines are often drinkable when young due to the rather low tannin content of Grenache, they can be stored for a relatively long time. Even small vintages mature for ten years, top wines even mature for several decades.
Characteristics of red Chateauneuf-du-Pape
The characteristics of the red Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines are of admirable complexity. They include:
→ Appearance: colour ranges from garnet red to dark purple.
→ Nose: reveals a very wide aromatic range of ripe fruits: blackcurrants, blackberries, and spices that evolve with ageing towards aromas of anise, liquorice, and leather with notes of burnt wood.
→ Palate: they have intense texture, they are powerful, robust, balanced, smooth, concentrated and very full on the palate. These wines have a long aromatic finish in the mouth, they are all round and creamy. Their finesse and roundness that makes them easy to drink.
→ Note: The Grenache provides the smoothness and concentrated mouth-feel, the Syrah provides the spice and fruit, while the Mourvedre provides the structure.
Food pairings with Red Chateauneuf-du-Pape
They are very suitable to be served with a whole range of meats:
- Meat in sauce, red meats, duck, sausage, grilled lamb, fatty poultry.
- They are also perfect with game dishes, seafood dishes, and strong cheeses. The warmth and strength of the young Chateauneufs also make it possible to match moderately spicy dishes.
The red Chateauneuf-du-Pape can be served at a temperature between 14°C and 16°C. Aeration and decantation in a decanter are possible for this wine. For old vintages, it is strongly recommended to decant the wine one to two hours before serving, so that the wine reveals all its richness!
Vinatis offers you a range of quality Red Chateauneuf wines with high ratings from Robert Parker and other well-known wine raters which have been blind tasted by our sommeliers. So, you can be sure of getting good value for your money.