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Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Sixtine 2010

  • RP95
  • WS94
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP93
  • WS91
  • RP94
  • RP96
  • RP95
  • WS90
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
In need of 4-5 years of cellaring, the infantile 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Sixtine is a behemoth. Made from a blend similar to the 2009's, the 2010 exhibits an opaque purple color in addition to a beautiful nose of melted licorice, blackberries, cassis, smoky barbecue embers, underbrush and soil overtones. Rich and full-bodied with a multilayered mouthfeel, this impressive, pure, well-built Chateauneuf will require patience. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035.


Range: 93-95

WS 94
Wine Spectator
Glass-staining ruby. An explosively perfumed bouquet evokes dark berry preserves, incense, licorice and candied flowers. Stains the palate with sweet, pliant blackberry and cassis flavors. Closes on a sappy note, with resonating spiciness and lingering dark berry qualities.


Range: 92-94

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Cuvee du Vatican

Cuvee du Vatican

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Cuvee du Vatican, France
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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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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.

DOB134588_2010 Item# 134588

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