Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
#4 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012
As with many houses in the region, the cépage for the red wine at Clos des Papes is based on a majority of Grenache, with smaller quantities of Mouvèdre and Syrah. The remainder of the blend consists of small amounts of some of the lesser-known varietals approved in the appellation, namely Muscardin, Counoise and Vacarèse. The wines spend their infancy in tank and are then transferred to large foudres for an élevage which lasts approximately 14-15 months.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape flirts with perfection. A classic blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah, Vaccarese and Counoise, all aged in large foudres in Clos des Papes’s air-conditioned and humidity-controlled wine cellar, the wine boasts a dense purple color along with lots of gorgeously pure black raspberry, black currant and kirsch liqueur notes intermixed with notions of spring flowers, tapenade, licorice and spice box. This dense, full-bodied, powerful Chateauneuf is also remarkably fresh and well-delineated. It even exceeded the 2007 in natural alcohol, coming in at 15.9%. With an extraordinary texture and considerable tannin in the finish, it will benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age, and is built for 25-30 years of cellaring. Don't miss it!"
Wine Spectator - "Lots of cocoa powder and coffee frame a massive block of dark plum, black currant and fig fruit, while massively endowed tannins stride from start to finish. Cassis, anise and Lapsang souchong tea notes hang in the background for now, but should emerge more with extended cellaring. The very dark, almost brooding finish is dominated by charcoal-coated grip, but the purity still wins out in the end. A very, very large wine. Best from 2017 through 2035."
International Wine Cellar - "Inky ruby. Potent, intensely perfumed aromas on raspberry liqueur, cherry-cola, anise and smoky garrigue. Spicy and incisive, offering palate-staining red and dark berry flavors that become richer with air. Shows a superb balance of richness and vivacity, with dusty tannins giving grip to a long, spice- and floral-dominated finish. One of the top wines from the entire Rhone from this outstanding vintage."
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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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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