Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape (375ML half-bottle) 2003
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Wine Spectator - "Lilting and perfumy, with a grace that belies the vintage, this offers layer upon layer of raspberry, boysenberry, floral, mineral and mocha flavors that glide to a long, silky, refined finish. So seductive, you almost miss how powerful it is--a masterful job of winemaking. Drink now through 2030."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2003 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape (the # 2 wine in the Wine Spectator's annual winefest) has long been one of the most profound wines of the vintage. It somehow manages to offer the vintage’s character in power, high glycerin, and huge volume, but retains remarkable elegance and finesse that is so much in keeping with the style of Clos des Papes. The wine has a dense ruby/purple-tinged color and a wonderfully sweet nose of framboise, blackberry, and kirsch liqueur intermixed with Chinese black tea and licorice. The wine is full-bodied and voluptuous, but once past all the glycerin and beautiful, dense fruit of this full-bodied wine, there is striking purity, elegance, finesse, and surprising freshness. Still primary, it looks set to have a long life of 20-25 or more years. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025."
International Wine Cellar - "Dark red. Exotic, even flamboyant on the nose, which displays strong red berry preserve, candied cherry, mineral and floral scents. Round and juicy, with deep red fruit flavors and a strong note of licorice. This is showing even more energy today than it did on release. Lush and sweet on the finish, leaving behind spicecake and cherry notes. I rated this wine 94 points on release and now think that I was stingy."
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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 & 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.