Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape les Petits Pieds d'Armand 2006
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
From vines were planted in 1899 made from 100% Grenache from a tiny parcel with sandy soil in La Crau. Miniscule yields.
Wine Spectator - "Dense but polished, with a great, creamy mouthfeel to the fig, black licorice, plum and currant preserve flavors, all followed by a very racy graphite edge on the long, intense finish. Has impressive drive. Drink now through 2028. 350 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The dense ruby/purple-tinged 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Petits Pieds d’Armand (100% Grenache from sandy soils) exhibits sweet aromas of kirsch liqueur, tobacco leaf, spring flowers, licorice, and hints of truffles and incense. Deep, full-bodied, rich, and long, this is a superb success for the vintage. Consume it over the next 15+ 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.
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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.
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