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Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2015

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • WS97
  • RP95
  • V95
  • JD95
  • JS90
15% ABV
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • WS94
  • RP93
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This 100% Grenache Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is made from 95 year old vines grown on clayey sand, locally known as "Cristia".

The 2015 vintage shows a deep black robe with purple hints. On the nose, the wine reveals a bouquet of very ripe red fruits along with roasted notes. Concentrated, powerful and explosive on the palate, it unfolds aromas of cherries, ripe black fruits and liquorice.

This wine will age beautifully for 8 years and can be cellared for 20-25 years.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 97
Wine Spectator
This delivers a lush, enticing blast of cassis and raspberry and boysenberry preserve flavors, carried by a silky structure that lets the fruit play out at length, giving adequate time for black tea, singed apple wood, dried anise and fruitcake notes to fill in throughout. Dreamy. Grenache. Best from 2020 through 2040.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
As for the reds from barrel, I found a touch of volatile acidity in all of the barrel samples, as well as a touch less exuberance and concentration than in past vintage. My favorite of the barrel samples was the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes, which is 100% Grenache that was completely destemmed and aged in a mix of demi-muids, new barrels and older barrels. It offers awesome notes of plums, blackberries, blueberries, garrigue and roasted meats in a sexy, even flamboyant, full-bodied style that will be hard to resist in its youth. Again, there’s a touch of volatile acidity here, but it handles it well. Range: 93-95
V 95
Vinous
Brilliant violet. Sexy, spice- and mineral-accented aromas of ripe red berries and incense carry a suave floral topnote. Juicy, penetrating and concentrated yet lithe, displaying impressive power and lift to the raspberry liqueur, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors. Closes with resonating spiciness, silky, slow-building tannins and a strong echo of sappy red fruit. The marriage of depth and vivacity here is quite impressive. Range: 93-95
JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
Made from 100% Grenache, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is a more opulent, hedonistic effort compared to the Renaissance and offers killer notes of plums, caramelized black cherries, spring flowers and licorice. Possessing sweet tannin, impeccable balance and a finish that won’t quit, drink it anytime over the coming 15 years or more.
JS 90
James Suckling
Plenty of ripe dark berry fruits and some toasted spices with mocha. too. The palate has a wealth of sweet red plum fruit that powers a fleshy finish.
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Domaine de Cristia

Domaine de Cristia

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Domaine de Cristia, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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Created by Etienne Grangeon 70 years ago, the property originally comprised 2 hectares of Grenache. It was developed further by the driving force of his son Alain, who joined the domaine in 1963. Passionate about viticulture, he notably contributed to the expansion of the domaine and planted improved grape varieties such as Syrah and Mourvèdre and created the identity of Cristia, based on the knowledge and respect of his soils.

Then, in 1999, Baptiste, Dominique and more recently Florent joined their father. Their priorities were to concentrate on selecting the best parcels in order to produce a wine of a great quality with a good ageing potential.

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.

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.

WWH144811_2015 Item# 348778