Villeneuve Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2010
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
The Villeneuve 2010 Vielle Vignes offers up aromas of raspberries, kirsch and other dark berries flavors. On the palate, loamy soil undertones as well as a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel.
Wine Spectator - "A bright, juicy profile, offering lots of linzer torte, loganberry, blueberry, red licorice and damson plum aromas and flavors, with notes of cherry eau-de-vie and cherries jubilee through the finish, which is carried by latent grip. A very energetic, vibrant style."
The Wine Advocate - "The beautiful, dense plum/purple-colored 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Vieilles Vignes (a blend of 70% Grenache, 16% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah, Cinsault and the white grape Clairette) offers abundant aromas of black raspberries, strawberry jam, black truffle and earthy forest floor. With soft tannins, good freshness, a flowery character and crisp minerality, it reminds me of a Chateauneuf du Pape made within a framework of the great Burgundy grand cru, Musigny. Much of this cuvee comes from vines planted in 1904. "
International Wine Cellar - "Bright purple. Sexy, mineral-accented aromas and flavors of dark berries and floral pastilles, with a powerful spicy overtone. Sappy and precise, with strong finishing punch and youthfully firm tannins. There's lots of fruit here--it just needs a little time to stretch out."
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Domaine de Villeneuve is a small estate (8.4 hectares) situated in the northern sector of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The estates vineyards border Château Beaucastel on one side, and Mont-Redon on the other. 90% of the vines are between 30 and 100+ years of age, with 75% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 8% Syrah, and 7% of other allowed varieties.
The estate was purchased by the du Roy de Blicquy and Wallut families in 1993. Since then they have completely refurbished the estate. A modern winery was built under-ground over three levels to allow all operations to be carried out by gravity feed to eliminate the use of pumps. Ageing of the Grenache takes place in large enamel lined cement tanks and the Syrah and Mouvedre components are aged in large casks.
Using bio-dynamic practices the old vines were nursed back to health and only a small percentage of the vineyard was re-planted , mostly to Syrah and Mourvedre. Yields are kept at a very low 24 to 28 hectoliters per hectare, and the percentage of wine matured in barrels never exceeds 20% of the total. These are stylish wines of intensity, depth and grace that possess natural balance and moderate alcohol levels with no undue heaviness or extract. View all Villeneuve 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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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.