Dom. Chante-Perdrix Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2006
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
The wines of Chante Perdrix are traditional in the best sense, and they are authentic, long-lived exaples of the venerable terroir of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
The red wine is made in the traditional manner, with ageing in the large oad casks and bottling from 18-24 months after the harvest. It is firm, rich, and spicy, developing slowly to a warm, satisfyingly complex maturity.
"Chante Perdrix produces one of the more exotic and intriguing wines of Chateauneuf du Pape. In top vintages, such as 1989, this is an undeniably flamboyant and dramatic wine. The estate is modestly sized (45 acres), and the red wine is made from a traditional blend of 80% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 6% Muscardin, and 2% other varietals. The average age of….(the) vineyards is an impressive 55 years. Additionally, this is one of the few single-estate vineyards with the entire vineyard located in the Southern part of the appellation, in the sector known as Condorcet……Guy Nicolet, a quiet and unassuming man, diminutive in stature, produces wines that are the reverse of his personality. Enormously fruity, voluptuous in texture and extroverted, they represent Chateauneuf du Pape at its most seductive. Fanciers of this style are best advised to drink Chante Perdrix within the first 10-15 years of (its) life. Although not one of the appellation's longest-lived wines, it is one of the most delicious." - Robert M. Parker, Jr. Wines of the Rhône Valley, 2nd Edition (1997)
Wine Spectator - "Perfumed up front, with incense and macerated cherry notes giving way to a stylish palate that shows sandalwood, mineral, sage and raspberry flavors. Drink now through 2018."
Domaine Chante-Perdrix Winery
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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.