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Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2014

  • WS92
  • RP91
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

With 10 hectares of white varieties planted out of a total of 70 hectares, Chateau de Vaudieu under the leadership of Laurent Brechet, is somewhat of a specialist in Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. Laurent's entry level Blanc is a blend of Grenache Blanc and Rousanne from 25-50 year old vines planted in various terroirs around the 18th century Chateau – red clay soils with pebbles and gravel, marls and limestone as well as sand. Most of this cuvee is aged and fermented in tank with a small portion of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne aged in 228L French oak barrels.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Plump and inviting, with peach, nectarine and pear flavors forming the core, while wet straw, chamomile and heather notes line the finish. Features a minerally spine.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc from the team at Château de Vaudieu is a fresh, lively blend of 68% Grenache and 32% Roussanne that was raised mostly in tank, with the Roussanne and a part of the Grenache in barrel. Offering up notes of fresh pineapple, white peach, brioche and honeysuckle, drink this medium-bodied, nicely textured and classic southern Rhône white over the coming 4-5 years.
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Chateau de Vaudieu

Chateau de Vaudieu

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Chateau de Vaudieu, 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 Chateau de Vaudieu. It is one of three 18th century Chateaux 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 Chateau Rayas (one of the best wines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape but not actually a Chateau), 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.

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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.

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Rhône White Blends

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Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions, proving most successful in Spain, Australia and California. Typically some combination of Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation.

In the Glass

Each variety contibutes something unique and different. Round, textural Grenache blanc gives green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes while Viognier provides a creamy texture and elegant aromatics. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

Perfect Pairings

White Rhône blends are quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might often be matched to red wines. Heavier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

Sommelier Secret

In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Péray. Condrieu and Château-Grillet can produce single-varietal Viognier only. The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes including the ones named above as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc.

STC378053_2014 Item# 205547