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Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • WS93
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • WS94
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • RP90
  • WS91
  • RP90
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • WE94
  • RP92
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

Elegance, softness, and a pleasure to drink are the notable characteristics of Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Already deliciously fruity, but best between 5 and 15 years.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Gorgeous, pure floral, raspberry and kirsch aromas lead the way, followed by intense cherry and blackberry fruit allied to substantial yet silky tannins. The long mineral- and shiso leaf—tinged finish lets the elements drape beautifully. Best from 2016 through 2030.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The classic 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape checks in as a destemmed blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah that spent 18 months in barrel. Offering up impressive kirsch, black raspberry, dried spices and garrigue, this medium to full-bodied 2012 has an elegant, seamless texture, fantastic purity and sweet tannin that emerges on the finish. There’s certainly a polished, slightly modern feel here, but it’s perfectly balanced and loaded with character. Enjoy this beauty over the coming 8-10 years.
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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 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.

SWS365069_2012 Item# 145883