Paul Autard Cote Ronde Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Yields were very small – one third less than in 2007 – due to the hot and dry late season. But the grapes were picked in perfect health and exceptional depth of color and tannin structure – significantly more so than for the 2007s. The tannins are magnificently ripe and sweet and are buried in the opulently ripe fruit. The wines have tremendous depth, power, and richness, with aromas and flavors of violets, black-berry, cassis and cherry fruits, espresso, and spices. The wines finish with great length and lingering, mouth-coating flavors. All of these elements (and more) and framed in a very balanced, elegant, supple package, which is the hallmark of the Autard house style.
The Cuvee La Cote Ronde (50% each Grenache and Syrah) highlights the unique terrior of its origins in the stony soils on the plain between Chateauneuf du Pape and Courthezon. It is structured and powerful with intense fruit and great length.
Wine Spectator - "This is beautifully rendered, with sleek, polished layers of blackberry, cassis and boysenberry fruit inlaid with toasty spice and sweet anise notes. The long, ganache-coated finish glides along despite its heft, with a great roasted mesquite note that lingers on and on. Drink now through 2013."
The Wine Advocate - "Autard’s quasi-modern-styled offering is the dense plum/purple-colored 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee La Cote Ronde, a blend of equal parts Grenache and Syrah from relatively old vines (60 plus years) that sees some new oak barrels. However, the 2009 shows only subtle evidence of vanillin and toast. It is a seductive, full-bodied, opulent effort displaying notes of caramelized red and black fruits, herbs, licorice and a hint of ink. This full-bodied, rich 2009 is ideal for drinking over the next 12+ 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.