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Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2008

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP95
  • WS95
14% ABV
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5.0 1 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2005 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2007

A rich, graceful and long-lived Châteauneuf bottling from many parcels with diverse micro-climates.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I tasted through various foudres of the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape and it is unquestionably a top-flight wine for Clos des Papes that is seductive and forward by the standards of this estate. It reminded me of the precocious style of the 2003, and Avril told me the 2009 is less alcoholic than either the 2003 or 2007, and the pH is a normal 3.75. Yields were a very small 20 hectoliters per hectare, largely because of their selection process and the drought. Every foudre I tasted was beautifully pure displaying a deep ruby/plum color, sweet kirsch and black raspberry fruit, full body, decent acidity (they never acidify here) and sweet, velvety tannins. This should turn out to be a mid-90-point wine that will take a back seat to the 2007, possibly even to their monumental 2006, but will surpass what they did in 2008, 2005, 2004, 1999 and 1998. The 2009 is a beautiful success that should drink well for 15+ years.
Range: 92-95
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Dark, inviting and very alluring, with captivating black tea, charred mesquite and kirsch aromas and flavors allied to a remarkably silky mouthfeel. Superlong, with mineral, violet, pepper and additional crushed cherry and plum fruit notes all gliding through the finish. Best from 2011 through 2027. 5,500 cases made.
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Clos des Papes

Clos des Papes

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Clos des Papes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
2008 Chateauneuf-du-Pape
the "Clos des Papes" estate inclueds some forty scattered hectares, approximately 80 acres.
There are no fewer than 24 different plots of land, which include some of the most beautiful soils in the Chateauneuf vineyards. The geographical separation of our vineyards enables us to control ripeness at harvest time, since each sector does not necessarily reach the exact same stage at the same time. It also allows us to combine different varieties planted to the south. "Clos des Papes makes both red wines and white wines (10% of the production) for long-keeping, using traditional vinification and maturing. As I mentioned previously, our yields are deliberately low (an average of 28hl/hectare). and then undergo further strict sorting, to uphold our quality.

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.

AWACDPROUGE_2008 Item# 106787

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