Bosquet des Papes Le Petit Vin d'Avril
Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
"The Le Petit Vin d'Avril (two-thirds from the 2005 vintage and one-third from 2004) is juicy, with loads of crunchy cherries and new saddle leather notes with some pepper, flowers, and spice. It's a vin gourmande, as the French would say, and best drunk in its first several years of life. This exquisitely run estate continues to turn out wines of great fragrance, richness as well as flavor authority and integrity. The yields are always among the lowest in the appellation. While they have 87 acres and can produce as much as 8,000 cases of Chateauneuf du Pape, the yields in 2003 were 23 hectoliters per hectare, in 2004, 22 hectoliters per hectare, and in 2005, 21 hectoliters per hectare. Their best value, and it's one heck of a bistro wine, is the non-vintage concoction of Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, and Carignan actually cropped at an amazingly low 32 hectoliters per hectare."
Bosquet des Papes Winery
Winemaker’s since 1860, the Boiron family knows a thing or two about their craft. It began Emmanuel Boiron who married into a well-know winemaking family and continued with his son, Joseph-Victor, in 1890. Joseph-Victor had his work cut-out for him thanks to phylloxera that wiped out his father’s vines. Years later, in 1936, Joseph-Victor deposed the name ‘Clos Chantelmerle’; the first official name of the estate. In 1923, his son Joseph ensured the continuation of the estate. Joseph’s son Maurice helped to create the name ‘Domaine Bosquet des Papes’ in 1966 and took the helm ten years later. Fast-forward to today…Maurice’s son Nicolas is making all of the wines today.
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About Cotes du Rhone
A Cote of Many Grapes
The appellation of Côtes du Rhône encompasses much of the land of the area, not to mention much of the wine – over two-thirds of the wine produced here is of the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. Wines here need only be from the Côtes de Rhône geographic area (which is fairly large) and consist of one or more of the 22 varieties permitted. Being such a wide classification, it's a surprise and joy that so many of these wines reach such a high quality. While there are areas in the Northern Rhône that meet the classification of Côtes du Rhône, most all of this appellation is in the Southern Rhône. Wines here are based mostly on Grenache, like other Rhône reds, while the whites focus on Marsanne and Roussanne. Viognier is also allowed although typically used in smaller quantities.
There is one higher level in the Côtes du Rhône called Côtes du Rhône Villages. These wines are from specific village areas that have a few more standards the wine must reach to receive the village label. Some to take note of are Cairanne, Rasteau, Seguret and Beaumes-de-Venise. The good thing about both Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages is that big producers of the smaller appellations are taking the opportunity and freedom offered by this broad appellation and creating wines of very high quality, and lower in price.
About France - Other regions
When it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and
Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.