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"One can imagine that the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Sixtine is even more backward than the regular bottling. Saturated black/purple in color with a classic nose of a walk in a pine forest intermixed with roasted herbs, black cherry liqueur, cassis, and something I often pick up in this wine, an almost earthy, peppery meatiness that, for lack of a better description, reminds me of a high-class steak au poivre dish at a French bistro. This is full-bodied and deep – a wine built/made for connoisseurs who have the patience as well as the cold cellars to store it. Give it 3-5 years of bottle age and drink it over the following two decades. This is one more estate that has come back strong because of a change in generations with the young, competent Jean-Marc Diffonty replacing his father, one of the grumpy but personality-filled characters of Chateauneuf du Pape. Yet from a winemaking standpoint, the father was inflexible and unwilling to change. Diffonty has lower yields and introduced a new blend, the Reserve Sixtine which is a blend of 50% Grenache and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre, the latter two components spending time in small oak barrels."-Wine Advocate 92-94
"Dark red. Intense oak spice notes and dusty herbs accent bright red berry aromas. Sweet and silky, with powerful raspberry and kirsch flavors, supple tannins and excellent thrust on the finish. This is wonderfully bright and energetic, with the balance to repay cellaring."-International Wine Cellar 92-95
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.
(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. Notable Facts...Read More About Chateauneuf-du-Pape
The Rhone region of France has a delightful selection of red varieties. There are 22 grapes allowed in the Rhone AOC, about half of them red. Most of these varieties are used as secondary blending partners, often comprising less than 10% of the blend. The primary red players of Rhone blends are Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Most wines from the Southern Rhone use Grenache as their...Read More About Rhone Red Blends
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