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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tradition 2005

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP94
0% ABV
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • RP93
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

"The 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Tradition, a 100% destemmed cuvee produced from 25 hectoliters per hectare and aged 80% in old wood foudres and 20% in tank, is dense purple with terrific fruit notes of raspberry, black cherry, and even some black currant and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, with good acidity, moderate tannin, and outstanding ripeness and length, this wine will be at its best in 2-3 years, and drink well for 12-15. Brothers Jean-Pierre and Thierry Usseglio have once again produced some of the finest Chateauneuf du Papes of the vintage, particularly in 2005. This is no small accomplishment given the fact that their 2003 cuvees were among the very finest wines of that challenging and irregular year."
-Robert Parker 92-94

"Medium red. Bright red berries on the nose, with subtle floral accents. In a fresh, elegant style, with vibrant raspberry and strawberry flavors and very fine, fully absorbed tannins. Finishes with silky-sweet red fruits, a bright mineral note and excellent length."
-International Wine Cellar 91-94

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils

Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils

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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tradition
In 1931 an Italian Francis Usseglio left Italy and went to Chateauneuf du Pape in France. Here he got a job at some winegrowers. After the war he got his own property - in 1948. He had two sons Pierre and Raymond. Pierre Usseglio got his father's property and Raymond established another estate. Today the 3. generation is in charge. The sons of Pierre Usseglio, Jean-Pierre and Thierry run Domaine Pierre Usseglio and Stephanie runs Domaine Raymond Usseglio. Today Domaine Pierre Usseglio consists of 21 ha. divided in 15 different parcels in the appellation. Half of the vines are about 60 years old and the rest is about 30 years old.

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.

AWAUSSAA05C_2005 Item# 91010

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