Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Mon Aieul 2010
Grenache from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
The selection of soils and the age of the vines provide a beautiful aromatic complexity to this wine. It reveals notes of blueberry, raspberry and licorice. The texture is silky - it is a wine that combines concentration and elegance. The optimum time for drinking this wine is between 10 and 12 years.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul (cropped at 12-16 hectoliters per hectare) comes from the estate’s finest vineyards in the southern part of the appellation (Les Grandes Serres), the eastern sector (the famed La Crau) and the northern sector (Guigasse). The wine is aged primarily in stainless steel tanks with a small percent (less than 20%) kept in 600-liter demi-muids. Despite the 16.5% natural alcohol, there is not a trace of heat in this wine. It is stunningly concentrated with great intensity as well as classic blueberry, peppery, incense, camphor, fig and licorice characteristics. Rich and full-bodied with slightly more freshness than their profound 2007, the 2010 Mon Aieul should age effortlessly for two decades."
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque ruby. Powerful aromas of blackberry, lavender, cola and licorice, with a spicy topnote. Supersweet, broad and lush, with explosive red and dark berry flavors complicated by candied flowers and allspice. Finishes with resonating spiciness, broad velvety tannins and superb length.
Range: 93-95 Points"
Wine Spectator - "bold, ripe, almost heady style, with thickly layered blueberry, fig and boysenberry fruit laced with mouthwatering spice and melted black licorice, followed by a long, fruitcake-filled finish. This has the stuffing and grip for cellaring, but ultimately for fans of the more bombastic style. Best from 2014 through 2030."
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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.
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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.