Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2009
Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
One of the finest white Chateauneufs I have ever tasted from Pierre Usseglio is their 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape blanc. Composed of 60% Grenache Blanc, 35% Clairette and 5% Bourboulenc, it was aged in old barrels (70%) and steel tanks (30%). There are only 3,000 bottles produced of this nectarine, mango, honeysuckle and quince-scented and flavored white wine. Rich, medium to full-bodied, crisp, fleshy and dry, it can be enjoyed over the next 1-2 years.
One of my favorite stops on my trips to the southern Rhone is at Domaine Pierre Usseglio where brothers Jean-Pierre and Thierry Usseglio have accomplished special things. A new state-of-the-art tasting room has been added, somewhat unusual in Chateauneuf du Pape where little has changed in the three decades I have been tasting there. However, the small, discrete Usseglio tasting room would never be compared with tasting rooms that exist in Bordeaux and California.
Wine Spectator - "A bright, lively style, with tangy pear, green and yellow apple and Cavaillon melon notes laced with orange blossom and honeysuckle. This has a stylish, floral finish. Drink now. 250 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "One of the finest white Chateauneufs I have ever tasted from Pierre Usseglio is their 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape blanc. Composed of 60% Grenache Blanc, 35% Clairette and 5% Bourboulenc, it was aged in old barrels (70%) and steel tanks (30%). There are only 3,000 bottles produced of this nectarine, mango, honeysuckle and quince-scented and flavored white wine. Rich, medium to full-bodied, crisp, fleshy and dry, it can be enjoyed over the next 1-2 years." "
International Wine Cellar - "Pale yellow. Ripe pear and yellow plum on the nose and palate. Fleshy and broad, with very good depth and power. Picks up spiciness with air and finishes with strong punch and lingering smokiness. For a rich wine this shows nice balance and focus."
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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Winery
In 1931 an Italian Francis Usseglio left Italy and went to Chateauneuf du Pape in France. Here he got a job at some winegrowers. After the war he got his own property - in 1948. He had two sons Pierre and Raymond. Pierre Usseglio got his father's property and Raymond established another estate. Today the 3. generation is in charge. The sons of Pierre Usseglio, Jean-Pierre and Thierry run Domaine Pierre Usseglio and Stephanie runs Domaine Raymond Usseglio. Today Domaine Pierre Usseglio consists of 21 ha. divided in 15 different parcels in the appellation. Half of the vines are about 60 years old and the rest is about 30 years old. View all Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils 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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review0 }div>Related ProductsThis is an atypical cuvee in terms of its complexity of aromas: deep spice, black fruit flavors and chocolate notes ...This blending of Grenache and Mourvedre gives a lush, soft, elegant wine with rich blackberry / blackcurrant, violet and cracked ...
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.