Paul Autard Cote Ronde Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
One of Autard's top wines, the Chateauneuf du Pape La Cote Ronde, comes from a parcel of vines that are between 75 and 90 years old, planted in a stony soil. The grape mix is 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah. The Cote Ronde parcel is vinified separately and is aged in 100% new oak barrels. It is an intensely concentrated, lush-textured wine with vivid dark fruit, spice, chocolate and oak flavors. Autard only makes this cuvee in top years.
Wine Spectator - "Beautifully pure blackberry and raspberry fruit is woven with toast, grilled herb and tar flavors, all buttressed with a firm, tannic spine. Concentrated, long, chewy finish opens in the glass to show an elegant side as well. Should age wonderfully. Drink now through 2020. 1,200 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "Dense, rich, and showing the tell-tale toasty new oak is the 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape La Cote Ronde. The wine is opulent, full-bodied, modern-styled with loads of fruit, and slightly better integrated oak than the 2004 with a deep ruby/plum purple color and a spicy, heady finish. It should drink well for at least 10 years."
Paul Autard Winery
The story of the Autard family is the story of all great appellations, in that it is the story of the evolution of expertise -- the sum of first-hand experiences, observations, experiments, inventions, and discoveries, in this case specific to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the Autard property in particular -- as it is passed down from generation to generation.
The Autard family effort began in Courthézon, with an old farm-turned-vineyard; then in 2005 the enterprise took a giant step forward, with the construction of a new cave that permits vast improvements at every stage in the winemaking cycle.
The Autard family effort began in Courthézon, with an old farm-turned-vineyard; then in 2005 the enterprise took a giant step forward, with the construction of a new cave that permits vast improvements at every stage in the winemaking cycle.In any undertaking that spans the generations, it is connoisseurship -- in the case of winemaking, a multiple matter of climate, land, vines, tools, and techniques -- that is the cornerstone...
Jean-Paul, as the heir of this expertise, brings to it his own ideas and intuitions, in order to enhance as well as perpetuate the Autard domaine’s well-deserved prestige. Jean-Paul, as the heir of this expertise, brings to it his own ideas and intuitions, in order to enhance as well as perpetuate the Autard domaine’s well-deserved prestige. View all Paul Autard Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-Pape(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.