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Dom. des Senechaux Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP95
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This is a highly structured red wine that reflects the richness of an historic and unique terroir.

Blend: 57% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made from an identical blend, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape is a hedonistic Chateauneuf du Pape fruit bomb. Super-rich with layers of glycerin and fruit, this full-bodied classic smells like a Provencal open-air fruit and vegetable market. Loaded with slightly blacker fruits than its 2011 counterpart, there are also hints of charcuterie, spice box, cedar and Christmas fruitcake in this full-throttle, rich, concentrated wine.
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Dom. des Senechaux

Domaine des Senechaux

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Domaine des Senechaux, , France - Rhone
Dom. des Senechaux
Domaine des Senechaux’s vineyards were first planted in the 14th century. The Domaine itself came into existence in the 19th century, and in 1993 was sold to Pascal Roux, proprietor of Chateau du Trignon in nearby Gigondas. Pascal quickly undertook to upgrade the Domaine and restore the vineyards, which had fallen on hard times. There are two parcels of vineyards comprising 67 acres. The larger parcel is on the famous plateau east of the village, strewn with the tractor destroying galets roules of Chateauneuf, the large rust-red stones deposited by glaciers. The smaller vineyard lies southeast of the village in the Revesla-Nerthe district.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

EPC21235_2010 Item# 120801

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