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Cuvee du Vatican Cotes du Rhone Villages 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
  • WS89
14% ABV
  • WS89
All Vintages
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Cotes du Rhone Villages Cuvee du Vatican has always been considered as the "younger brother" of the famous Chateauneuf du Pape. It is well worth questioning this assuption, however. This is a wine that has long since proved its credentials and which continues to astound us by its vitality. A true vintage wine, it reveals its attractions for the greatest pleasure of one and all. This endearing wine will always be present at table wherever good living and good humor are the rule.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 89
Wine Spectator
Dark, ripe and focused, with mulled black currant and plum sauce notes laced with baker's chocolate and graphite hints. Displays a nicely fleshy finish. Drink now. 2,500 cases made.
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Cuvee du Vatican

Cuvee du Vatican

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Cuvee du Vatican, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, 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 Châteauneuf du Pape.

Cotes du Rhone

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Typically thought of as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhone actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.

The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red varieties include most of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.

Rhône Blends

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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.

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 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 Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can 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 Secret

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.

AWAVATEE09C_2009 Item# 111061