Chapoutier La Bernardine Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
La Bernardine is an intense crimson-red color. The aromas are complex but subtle with blackcurrant and plum layered with roasted coffee, cinnamon and black cherry. On the palate, spice, licorice and both dark and red fruits.
Wine Spectator - "graceful, silky style, with a core of blueberry and raspberry fruit that hangs in reserve while notes of anise, spice bread and roasted vanilla caress the edges. The polished finish lets the fruit and spice notes hang nicely. Best from 2012 through 2022."
The Wine Advocate - "A solid effort from Chapoutier is his largest Cuvee of Chateauneuf du Pape, the La Bernardine. Deep ruby, with textbook black cherry, garrigue, pepper and spice, this wine is medium to full-bodied , very pure, and exhibits a good, peppery, heady finish. It should drink nicely for up to a decade.
Wine Enthusiast - "Chapoutier has fashioned a full-bodied, creamy-textured 2009 Le Bernardine, with dark, plummy fruit and a hint of chocolate liqueur that ably reflect the warm vintage. Yet despite all of the lushness, the wine doesn't come across as heavy or overdone, making it attractive for early drinking. Try now–2018."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby. Sexy raspberry and potpourri aromas are complemented by notes of anise and peppery spices. Sappy and sweet, offering penetrating red fruit flavors and suggestions of allspice and licorice. Supple and precise, with good finishing cut and sweetness.
Range: 89-91 "
Wine & Spirits - "This is lush with lilac scents and liqueur-sweet cherry fruit, a seductive red with ease and charm. Don't let it fool you, however: The tannins may be round but they are firm as well, ready for a thick steak or another six to ten years in the cellar."
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M. Chapoutier Winery
No name is more closely associated with the greatness of the Rhône valley than M. Chapoutier.
The history of the Chapoutier family stretches back to the early nineteenth century when current owner Michel Chapoutier’s great-, great-, great-grandfather Marius purchased an estate and some vineyards in the now famous village of Tain l’Hermitage in the Northern Rhône Valley. Marius Chapoutier made history in the region when he became the first grape grower there to vinify his own fruit. Marius had tasted wines other winemakers produced using his fruit and he realized that something was lost in translation, so to speak. He knew that he owned some of the best growing sites in the appellation and he believed — rightly — that the grapes grown in his vineyards could produce long-lived world-class wines. In a move unusual at the time, he decided that he should make the wine himself. Not only did the quality of the wines increase greatly, but this move provided the capital to expand the Chapoutiers’ already legendary estate.
A visionary and pioneer in biodynamic winemaking, his restless energy and unconditional commitment to quality have produced tremendous success, with the most 90+ point ratings of all Rhône producers and 16 "100 point" rated wines. View all M. Chapoutier Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-PapeView a map of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries (shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regionsWhen 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.
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