Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Olivier has 30+ years experience of winemaking with Chateauneuf-du-Pape. With his experience he has learned that keeping his yields very low helps produce wines with great concentration and soft, silky tannins. This great wine, like Olivier, can be enjoyed in its youth but will also age very well!
The Wine Advocate - "One of the top classic cuvées, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape (90% Grenache and 10% Syrah aged in a combination of different sized barrels) is medium to full-bodied, layered and downright sexy, with loads of sweet kirsch, blackberry, ground herbs and truffle. Already hard to resist, drink bottles over the coming 7-8 years."
Domaine Olivier Hillaire Winery
Before 2007 there was only one brasserie in the centre of Chateauneuf du Pape, La Mule du Pape. In 2007 Olivier Hillaire has purchaced the boulangerie on the other site of the street and runs here another brasserie. At lunch time you can meet him here serving the guests with the same engagement as he shows talking about his wines.
As Hillaire doesn't have his own cellars yet, his wines are aged in a big building in Sorgues former used to store apples. Several producers use this place, among them Henri Bonneau and André Brunel View all Domaine Olivier Hillaire 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 Review4 }div>4 out of 5 stars
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- 4 Stars: 1
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1 rating, 1 with reviewRon Blachman - Berkeley, CA411/17/2014
I tried this with a pair of 2010's from Beaucastel and Clos de Caillou. This one is slightly leaner, the color is medium-dark but very saturated ruby tinged with magenta, medium-to-full bodied and leggy. The nose is smallish: dark berries and a hint of something floral. On the palate: abundant tarry fruit with a hint of anise or licorice, a bit more acid than the others but still just barely enough for the fruit, a stiff tannin backbone (this is after all the youngest of the wines), the alcohol comes on a bit too strong. This wine wants more time. Drinking it before about 2018 would be infanticide and I don't think it will really hit stride before 2022 or so. I just don't know if it will show much of a nose or if it has acid to carry it into the far beyond. If I were 20 years younger I'd lay some down and forget it. It is a good buy compared to other Chateauneuf so if you're thinking long-term then by all means lay a few down.
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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.
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