Barton & Guestier Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1999
- Wine Spectator
Barton & Guestier is the oldest and one of the most prestigious wine houses in Bordeaux. With nearly 300 years of history, Barton & Guestier was established in 1725 by Thomas Barton, a renowned negociant coming from Ireland. In the early 19th century, his grandson joined forces with Frenchman Daniel Guestier, a reputed importer of Bordeaux wines into Baltimore, in the British colonies in America, and the one who delivered the wines that President Thomas Jefferson had ordered from the Barton family. It remains the most iconic French wine brand bringing authentic French terroir and emotions to wine lovers all over the world.
The Barton & Guestier range represents a wonderful diversity of the best French wine appellations with about 200 passionate winegrowers over the main winegrowing regions: Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Rhône Valley, Languedoc, Gascony and Corsica. With its wide variety of wines, Barton & Guestier enables wine lovers - from the occasional wine drinker to the connoisseur - to make a journey through France. The B&G winemaking team guarantees consistent quality and style, vintage after vintage. The company headquarters is based at Château Magnol, Haut-Médoc, a great Cru Bourgeois wine estate certified “High Environmental Value” and ISO 14001. Chateau Magnol also serves as a guesthouse and wine academy open to wine professionals from all over the world.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.
Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.
According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.
Only about 6-7% of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.
The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.