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New Customers Save $30* with code OCTNEW30
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Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois 2011
Pairs well with game and red meats, cheeses.
Blend: 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 5% Syrah, 2.5% Vaccarese, 2.5% Counoise
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A gorgeous effort that oozes charm and finesse, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de la Reine des Bois is loaded with darker Grenache aromas and flavors of black raspberries, toast, licorice, subtle flowers and spice. Up-front, approachable and showing the forward nature of the vintage, it has full-bodied richness, fantastic purity and enough ripe tannin to allow it to evolve gracefully for 10-12 years. It opens up nicely in the glass and over the evening, and should be given another year or two in the cellar. It’s a beautiful wine.
Solidly built, with a dark licorice frame to the core of plum paste, cherry compote and linzer torte flavors. This exhibits a long, sappy feel through the finish, showing ample grip. Well-integrated overall.
Coming from a long line of winegrowers, the Domaine de la Mordoree was created in 1986 with the philosophy of growing the best possible wines. To that purpose, the best plots and the finest varieties have been chosen, and the winemakers implement cultivation methods that aim at really preserving the environment, while combining tradition and modernity.
In the course of time, 55 hectares of vineyards have been grown, spread over 35 different plots and 8 communes. This division comes from the decision of choosing the best "terroirs" with a wide variety of microclimates.
A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.