Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2006
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Deep purple robe. A seducing bouquet which evokes blackberries, liquorice and mocha. A mouth which explodes with a mixture of black cherries and blackcurrant liqueur.
This very sensual wine would be ideal accompanying spicy dishes, a filet steak with ginger or a tajine "aux 5 épices".
International Wine Cellar - "Dark purple. Rich, seductively perfumed bouquet evokes blackberry, cassis, licorice and mocha. Plush and sweet but well balanced, offering dense dark berry liqueur flavors and a refreshing bitter cherry quality on the finish. Leaves a trail of Asian spices and minerals in its wake. Really outstanding. Range: 93-95"
Wine Spectator - "Densely packed, with solid grip framing the blackberry, boysenberry and plum fruit flavors, which are spiked with black tea, mesquite, raspberry ganache and fig bread notes. The long finish has impressive drive. Grenache. Best from 2010 through 2029. 625 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is one of the vintage's stars. An impressive, deep ruby/purple color is followed by notes of meat juices, roasted herbs, lavender, blackberries, and kirsch. Surprisingly full-bodied and dense for the vintage, it possesses noteworthy purity, good acidity, and sweet tannin. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.
As I have indicated over the last few years, this is one of the superb newer producers in Chateauneuf du Pape. Their cellars are in the village of Courthezon, which is located adjacent to the very northeast sector of the appellation. Their 2007s are spectacular wines. This superb Chateauneuf du Pape producer also fashions tasty Cotes du Rhones and Cotes du Rhone-Villages meant to be consumed during their first few years of life. "
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Domaine de Cristia Winery
Created by Etienne Grangeon 70 years ago, the property originally comprised 2 hectares of Grenache. It was developed further by the driving force of his son Alain, who joined the domaine in 1963. Passionate about viticulture, he notably contributed to the expansion of the domaine and planted improved grape varieties such as Syrah and Mourvèdre and created the identity of Cristia, based on the knowledge and respect of his soils.
Then, in 1999, Baptiste, Dominique and more recently Florent joined their father. Their priorities were to concentrate on selecting the best parcels in order to produce a wine of a great quality with a good ageing potential. View all Domaine de Cristia 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.
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