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Chateau Sixtine Chateauneuf-du-Pape (1.5L Magnum) 2010

  • RP96
  • WS94
1500ML / 0% ABV
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  • WS92
  • RP90
  • RP94
  • RP91
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1500ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre is the full expression of the land, the grapes and the care and attention lavished upon it. It will grow and develop with cellaring and the years of aging will take away none of its depth and delicate finesse.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chateau Sixtine Chateauneuf du Pape performed exquisitely and, again, was one of the top wines of the vintage. With better integration of the new oak than I have previously seen from Jean-Marc Diffonty, this wine's opaque ruby/purple color possesses lots of licorice, asphalt, graphite, blackberry and kirsch notes as well as hints of lavender, forest floor and garrigue. This opulent, full-bodied effort is approachable, but it will not hit its full stride for another 2-4 years. It should drink well for 15-20 years thereafter.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
A dark, brawny style, with roasted apple wood and dark espresso framing the currant paste, blackberry pâte de fruit, melted black licorice and bittersweet cocoa notes. There's lots of muscle on the finish, but also lovely flickers of violet and pastis for nuance. Needs time to unwind fully. Best from 2015 through 2030.
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Chateau Sixtine

Chateau Sixtine

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Chateau Sixtine, France
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Chateau Sixtine is the newly adopted name for the estate wines of the Diffonty family. Currently under the dynamic direction of Jean-Marc Diffonty, the reputation of the family's wines continues to grow. One of the Southern Rhone's oldest wine families, the Diffontys have been winegrowers since 1673. From 1958 to 2010 their Chateauneuf du Pape wines gained a very high reputation under the Cuvèe du Vatican label; after 1998 their reserve wines were labeled Cuvèe du Vatican Reserve Sixtine. Beginning with the 2010 vintage, the Cuvee du Vatican name will be used for negotiant wines from the Côtes du Rhône and Chateauneuf du Pape; the estate Chateauneuf du Papes will be labeled Chateau Sixtine. There will also be a second wine from the estate, which will be labeled Manus Dei du Chateau Sixtine.
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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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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.

Tasting Notes for Rhône Blends

A Rhône blend is a dry, red wine and 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 Food Pairings for Rhône Blends

Rhône Blends 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 Secrets for Rhône Blends

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.

LATSIXMAG_2010 Item# 122231

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