Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Sixtine 2003

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750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

"The brilliant 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Sixtine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and the rest various red varietals. Aged in both barrel (30% new) and foudre, it represents approximately one-fourth of the vintage's production, or roughly 2,000 cases. Yields averaged 17-25 hectoliters per hectare. The 2003 is an atypically powerful, concentrated effort that tips the scales at 15.7% alcohol. It boasts a dense purple color as well as copious quantities of black raspberries, cherries, cassis, licorice, smoke, scorched earth, and hints of Provencal herbs as well as subtle wood. This broad, substantial, powerful effort possesses fabulous concentration and awesome potential. It will not be one of the 2003 Chateauneuf du Papes to drink in its youth. Even though it has low acidity, there is tremendous tannin as well as extract. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring; it should keep for 16-18 years."
-Wine Advocate 93-96 Points

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Cuvee du Vatican

Cuvee du Vatican

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Cuvee du Vatican, France
Cuvee du Vatican Winery Image
Jean-Marc Diffonty is the 4th generation at the domain and has been responsible, since his father Félician Diffonty left the charge in 1993. Félician Diffonty was the mayor of Chateauneuf du Pape 1965-1995 and it was him who in 1958 named the domaine Cuvée du Vatican - with blessings by the pope! In 1996 Jean Marc was made president of the Young Winemakers of Chateauneuf du Pape.
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Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Rhone, France

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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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AWAVACPS031_2003 Item# 83254

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