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Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chante Le Merle 2013

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP92
  • WS92
15% ABV
  • JD95
  • RP95
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  • JS94
  • RP97
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • RP91
  • RP94
  • WS93
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Cuvee Chante Le Merle possesses a nice shiny red color with dark purple highlights. The nose is elegant and complex. This very aromatic Chateauneuf-du-Pape is elegant and long in mouth. A powerful wine with a cellar potential for many years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the most structured wines in the vintage, the 2013 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes gives up ample kirsch, licorice, dried spices and ground pepper in its medium to full-bodied, concentrated, tannic profile. Made from 90% Grenache, 5% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre, it has terrific length and the tannin is polished and ripe, but at the moment it’s backwards and closed. Give it another year or two and enjoy bottles through 2028.
Rating: 92+
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Juicy but still youthfully taut, this offers lots of brambly grip, keeping the core of steeped plum and raspberry fruit in reserve. Mouthwatering anise and violet notes stream through the finish, which displays a nicely buried tarry edge. Best from 2016 through 2024.
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Bosquet des Papes

Bosquet des Papes

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Bosquet des Papes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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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.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics of silky black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhone 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 Chateauneuf-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 Cinsaut, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. 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.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

TGI15448_2013 Item# 146276