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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Louis Bernard Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2007
Louis Bernard Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2007
(search item no. 98515)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $36.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the most prestigious southern Rhône wine. It was here that the appellation contrôlée system began in 1923, when a group of local winemakers, led by Baron Le Roy, drew up a charter of six stipulations to regulate and safeguard the quality of their table wines. Decades later, the laws of the appellation contrôlée system remain largly unchanged.

The Templiers originally planted vines in the region in the 12th century. Two hundred years later, it was the papacy of Avignon that continued the winemaking tradition. It was the new chateau (château neuf) completed by Pope John XXII in 1333 for which the wines of this region and the city itself are named.

At its best, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a broad, generous, sinewy wine showing a range of dark, fruity flavors. The wines derive their uniqueness from several sources. The round red and cream-colored stones and galets, left by ancient Alpine glaciers, absorb heat throughout the day and then reflect it onto the vines during the cool nights. As a result, the grapes reach maximum maturity. Furthermore, the vines here benefit from the cleansing winds of the mistral, which keep them dry and free of undesirable diseases.

Grenache accounts for 60% of the vines planted here, but because it can be unbalanced on its own, another 12 varietals (including five white ones) are permitted for use in making red wines. Châteuneuf-du-Pape white represents only 5% of the total appelation and is also a blend of up to six varietals. Yields are limited to 2.59 tons per acre.

My Notes:

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About Louis Bernard:

Since 1976, Louis Bernard has united winemakers of the Rhone Valley in a common project: to devote the best of their wine and savoir-faire to producing great wines. With production throughout the Cotes du Rhone region, Louis Bernard remains dedicated to showcasing the unique characteristics of each terroir while producing exquisite, world-class wines.

La Chartreuse de Bonpas is a medieval fortified convent located near Avignon in the Provence region of France, on the Durance River. According to legend, the area was originally called "Maupas" (bad passage) because it was dominated by dangerous bandits. In the 12th century, a holy man named Sibertius arrived with soldiers, built a convent, and chased away the evil bandits. Thus, the name was changed from "Maupas" to "Bonpas" (good passage) and became known as a safe haven allowing travelers a secure crossing of the Durance River .

Today, this historic monument is surrounded by 45 acres of A.O.C. Cotes du Rhone vineyards and is home to Louis Bernard. Visitors can tour the chapel, stroll in the beautiful French-style gardens, and enjoy wine tasting in the ancient cellar.