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Chateau de La Gardine Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    14.5% ABV
    • W&S92
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    14.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Deep purple color with reflects of violet; glittering on the nose: black fruits, exotic spices, roasted coffee and fragrances of cacao. A blend of black licorice notes and the delicacy of violet. Slightly oaky. Rich with very ripe fruit characteristics. Silky tannins on the palate promise a great future for this wine.

    Grape varieties: 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, 5% Muscardin

    Critical Acclaim

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    Chateau de La Gardine

    Chateau de La Gardine

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    Chateau de La Gardine, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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    The winemaking tradition of the Brunel family dates back to the 17th century. Gaston Brunel, a famous négociant, acquired the Château de la Gardine in Châteauneuf du Pape in 1945. The estate is now run by his two sons, Patrick and Maxime with the help of their wives Eve and Maryse and their children Marie-Odile and Philippe. The estate spreads over 52 ha of vineyards (48 ha of red and 4 ha of white) and 20 ha of forests, all gathered around the property. The domaine is famous for the quality of their wines and for the unique Gardine bottle. Today around 70% of the production is exported in about 30 countries.

    Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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    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, Chateauneuf-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 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 Cinsault, 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 sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

    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 is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

    Perfect Pairings

    Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

    Sommelier Secret

    Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône 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 make an appearance.

    SWS388203_2012 Item# 166272