Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Number 1 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2007!
"This is really tight now, but it's packed with dark fig, currant, espresso, licorice and chocolate notes. Superfleshy but seriously structured, there's layer after layer of sweet spice, fruit and minerality pumping through the finish, with lots of latent depth and power. Far more backward than the 2003 and 2004 on release, but considering this typically puts on weight as it ages, it should be a monster, à la the 1990, when it reaches its peak. Best from 2009 through 2030."
"The 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape has a deeper color than the 2004 and 2003 that I tasted side by side, and with its dense ruby/purple color to the rim, the wine has a fabulous bouquet of kirsch liqueur, raspberries, licorice, and a combination of spice and Provencal herbs. It is rich, full-bodied, with high but sweet tannin, good acidity, and a blockbuster finish of close to 45+ seconds. This is a knock-out wine that will probably need 4-5 years of bottle age and last for 20-25 years. This exquisitely run estate continues to turn out wines of great fragrance, richness as well as flavor authority and integrity."
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate Barrel Sample: 94-96 Points
International Wine Cellar - "Avril presented the components, from foudres, and opined that he now prefers this to showing an approximate blend because "blending on the spot isn't an assemblage, it's just a melange, and a wine needs two months after blending to harmonize." Sample #1, 70% grenache and 30% mourvedre: Blackberry, dark cherry, plum and licorice on the nose. Sweeter on the palate, with bright raspberry and bitter cherry flavors. This is "about 15.8% alcohol," says Avril. Sample #2, 70% grenache and 30% syrah: Intensely perfumed nose combines powerful kirsch, cassis and Asian spices. Silky and sweet, with a deep cherry flavor and suave tannins. Sample #3, a blend of 80% grenache, 10% mourvedre and 10% syrah: A strong floral quality lifts the ripe raspberry and licorice aromas. Lush, broad and silky, with impressive concentration. Sample #4, all grenache: Bright raspberry and strawberry on the nose. Impressively silky and sweet, with strong minerality, fine tannins and excellent persistence. The final blend should be a great Clos des Papes.
Clos des Papes Winery
the "Clos des Papes" estate inclueds some forty scattered hectares, approximately 80 acres.
There are no fewer than 24 different plots of land, which include some of the most beautiful soils in the Chateauneuf vineyards. The geographical separation of our vineyards enables us to control ripeness at harvest time, since each sector does not necessarily reach the exact same stage at the same time. It also allows us to combine different varieties planted to the south. "Clos des Papes makes both red wines and white wines (10% of the production) for long-keeping, using traditional vinification and maturing. As I mentioned previously, our yields are deliberately low (an average of 28hl/hectare). and then undergo further strict sorting, to uphold our quality. View all Clos des Papes 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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.