Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Sixtine 2009
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
This blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 25% Mourvedre is the full expression of the land, the grapes and the care and attention lavished upon it. It will grow and develop with cellaring and the years of aging will take away none of its depth and delicate finesse.
The Wine Advocate - "The brilliant 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Sixtine (a blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 25% Mourvedre aged in small barrels of which less than 10% is new) reveals a darker deep purple color with a vague hint of vanillin in the background. Blackberry, cassis, kirsch, licorice and Provencal herb characteristics dominate the explosive aromatics. Atypically approachable for this cuvee (which is usually meant for long term aging), the 2009 possesses a savory, broad, saturated mouthfeel with a well-integrated tannic structure providing current accessibility. Nevertheless, it will drink well for 15-20 years."
International Wine Cellar - "Dark ruby. Aromas of cherry and black raspberry are complemented by floral and smoky qualities. Round, plaint and expansive, with very good heft and bracing zesty acidity to its sappy dark fruit flavors. Shows very good clarity and cut on the finish, with the berry note repeating. This fruit-driven wine is already quite appealing. "
Wine Spectator - "Silky and long, with nicely woven layers of fig, boysenberry, cassis and pastis flavors that pick up hints of black tea and iron on the very suave finish. There's also solid length, thanks to well-embedded acidity. Best from 2013 through 2020."
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Cuvee du Vatican Winery
Jean-Marc Diffonty is the 4th generation at the domain and has been responsible, since his father Félician Diffonty left the charge in 1993. Félician Diffonty was the mayor of Chateauneuf du Pape 1965-1995 and it was him who in 1958 named the domaine Cuvée du Vatican - with blessings by the pope! In 1996 Jean Marc was made president of the Young Winemakers of Châteauneuf du Pape. View all Cuvee du Vatican 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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review0 }div>Related ProductsBlend: 85% Grenache, plus Mourvedre and Syrah ...Lavishly ripe, extracted Chateauneuf du Pape that is complex and yet balanced with acidity often in contradiction to an appellation ...The "Cuvee Tradition," also known on occasion as the "Secret de Gabriel" (in honor of Paul Jeune's father) is produced ...
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.