Domaine Condorcet Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015
Beautiful color, dark ruby red with purple hues. Powerful and complex nose combining red fruits and ripe black fruits like cherries in alcohol to finish with spicy notes. Beautiful structure in the mouth with an excellent balance. The tannins are fine and silky. Thanks to the combination of the terroir of rolled pebbles and the Grenache, this wine shows great finesse and elegance.
In the 18th century, the vineyard was mainly boosted by the local aristocracy. In 1748, the wine of Château de la Nerthe was already exported. In 1877, Joseph Ducos, a former military officer, bought the Chateau De La Nerthe and its 59 hectares of vines largely decimated by phylloxéra in 1866. His wife, Zoe Berton, was the daughter of Léon Berton, owner of Domaine Condorcet. It is important to note that Amable Berton, Zoe’s grandfather, was the first to introduce the Syrah variety in Châteauneuf du Pape in 1830.
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, Châteauneuf-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 Châteauneuf-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 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. 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.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.