Domaine Giraud Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tradition 2017
Blend: 60% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
I loved the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape, and I’d certainly be happy with a case in the cellar. Offering a pure, elegant, incredibly Grenache-driven profile of sweet black raspberries, incense, violets, and garrigue, it’s medium to full-bodied, ethereal, and elegant on the palate. It’s already hard to resist yet will keep for 10-15 years.
Coming in (rating-wise) right where I projected it would last year, Giraud's 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape is a terrific example of a cuvée tradition. At 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre, it's a pretty typical blend yet one that exceeds expectations. It's full-bodied, plush and velvety, showing ample ripeness—raspberries, cherries, and stone fruit—without going over the top into cooked fruit. No, it doesn't show that much complexity at this age, but some of that will emerge over the next decade or so.
In 1998, Pierre was ready to pass on his love of the vine and wine to his children. Marie and François took on the estate hand-in-hand. Under their parents’ watchful eye, they devoted themselves to tending vines and winemaking. They focused their efforts on selecting parcel by parcel, doing minimal treatments, upgrading their cellar to make finer and finer wines while respecting family traditions. François tries hard to tend each parcel and variety respecting the "terroir" as much as possible, that alchemy nature provides us with, to fully express our grapes' full character.
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.