Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois 2017
Deep ruby red and opaque color. Aromas of red fruits change to wooden touches of leather, black truffles and coffee. Fat, concentrated and full flavored with a very long liquoriced and fruity finish.
Blend: 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 5% Syrah, 5% Vaccarese
Ideal pairings include red meats, sauce dishes, game animals (wild boar) and semi mature cheeses.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The saturated purple-hued 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée De La Reine Des Bois is another brilliant wine from this estate. Made from 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Syrah and Vaccarèse (as well as a few other varieties) brought up in 80% stainless steel and 20% old barrels, it offers an extraordinary bouquet of blackcurrants, chocolaty herbs, ground pepper, and graphite. Deep, rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, it stays pure and flawlessly balanced on the palate, with silky tannins. I love everything about this wine, which reminds me of a slightly plusher example of the 2010. It has some upfront charm today and will continue drinking brilliantly for 15 years or more.
The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape La Reine des Bois was bottled just two weeks before I visited the domaine in June, but despite that, it seemed open, lush and delicious on both occasions I tasted it (once blind a week later). Hints of oak and licorice accent black cherries in this big, plush, velvety-textured wine, which is 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% each Syrah and Vaccarèse. It's silky enough to enjoy young but has the requisite stuffing to age well for more than a decade.
This has a powerful, dark-fruit nose with violets and stones, too. Arrives on the palate with a rich array of fine tannins, layering up nicely to deliver a deep, dark and red-berry finish. From organically grown grapes.
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.
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.
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.