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Chateau de Vaudieu Amiral G Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012

Grenache from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP96
0% ABV
  • JD99
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • D94
  • JD96
  • WS96
  • RP95
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A new cuvee that was introduced in 2010 (which is incredible), the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Amiral G is up with the crème of the vintage. Made from 100% Grenache, completely destemmed, and aged 18 months in new demi-muids, it possesses a singular style in its sweet bouquet of black raspberry, strawberry, red licorice, rose petal and garrigue. Full-bodied and voluptuous on the palate, with beautiful concentration, no hard edges and building, finely polished tannin, this awesome Châteauneuf can be consumed anytime over the coming decade or more.
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Chateau de Vaudieu

Chateau de Vaudieu

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Chateau de Vaudieu, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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One of the many ways to misunderstand Chateauneuf-du-Pape is to think it is a terroir dominated by one soil type. When asked to picture the typical vineyard in the village, one immediately has the image of galets. While this is an important terroir in the region, it is only one of nearly a dozen different soil types. Some producers make wines from a single specific terroir while others blend from several. This is just as important a factor in how the final wines taste as how they are made. Perhaps no better estate proves this than Chateau de Vaudieu.

Located about a five minute drive outside the village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape along the road which leads to Courthezon you will find Château de Vaudieu. It is one of three 18th century Châteaux located in the appellation, tucked into a small valley surrounded by hills and plateau. It is at the intersection of several major terroirs: sandy soils to the north, along a border it shares with Château Rayas (one of the best wines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape but not actually a Château), pale limestone and clays centered around a forested hillock, and two large plateaux of the somewhat overexposed galets. In total there are 70 hectares within one contiguous estate – something very rare in the appellation.

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.

Grenache

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

YAO517199_2012 Item# 517199