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Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chante Le Merle 1998

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP91
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

RP 91
The Wine Advocate

The star of the show from Bosquet des Papes was the 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes. Fully mature, it reveals impressive notes of roasted garrigue, lots of cured meats, licorice and coffee bean notes to go with a ripe, full-bodied, textured feel on the palate. It has an old-school feel, yet is neither overtly rustic nor astringent. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years. The blend here is 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvedre, all of which was aged in foudre and demi-muids.

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Bosquet des Papes

Bosquet des Papes

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Bosquet des Papes, , France - Rhone
Bosquet des Papes
Winemaker’s since 1860, the Boiron family knows a thing or two about their craft. It began Emmanuel Boiron who married into a well-know winemaking family and continued with his son, Joseph-Victor, in 1890. Joseph-Victor had his work cut-out for him thanks to phylloxera that wiped out his father’s vines. Years later, in 1936, Joseph-Victor deposed the name ‘Clos Chantelmerle’; the first official name of the estate. In 1923, his son Joseph ensured the continuation of the estate. Joseph’s son Maurice helped to create the name ‘Domaine Bosquet des Papes’ in 1966 and took the helm ten years later. Fast-forward to today…Maurice’s son Nicolas is making all of the wines today.

Santa Maria Valley

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A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely east to west starting near the coast, allowing Pacific Ocean air to funnel through and cool the vineyards. This allows grapes to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, this creates an ideal environment for grape growing.

Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has proven quite successful in the region as well. Many vineyards here are owned by growers who sell their grapes to wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottle from different wineries. Bien Nacido is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

ARP12745_1998 Item# 12745

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