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Flat front label of wine

Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP97
0% ABV
  • V94
  • RP93
  • RP100
  • WS93
  • RP98
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Winemaker Notes

It boasts an inky/purple color in addition to a gorgeous perfume of crushed rocks, jammy black fruits, charcoal and graphite. Blackberry aroma with an air of dates pressed in alongside – this is sweet-noted. It is easy to appreciate, a sleek and stylish start. The palate holds excellent fruit that runs well and has kick. Its tannins move round freely and a minted finale comes forward. Its dark fruit is tasty, darkens on the finish, where tar and char from its oak enter. It is all very much together, a bundle of harmony, and will gain local attributes as it ages. An outstanding Chateauneuf du Pape which display the best of its terroir.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is in the top 2-3 wines in the vintage. Possessing rock-star concentration and depth, full-bodied richness and loads of sweet tannin, it offers layers of ripe blackberry, graphite, licorice and toasted-spice aromas and flavors. One of the more powerful and structured efforts in the vintage, it nevertheless always stays balanced, graceful and light on the palate. Give it 2-3 years and enjoy bottles through 2027.
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Domaine Grand Veneur

Domaine Grand Veneur

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Domaine Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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In 1320 Pope Jean XXII planted the first vines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but it was only in 1360 that the wines of the region first gained fame. Oddly, the wine that gave Châteauneuf-du-Pape its reputation was the Blanc and not the Rouge. The white wine was a favorite of Pope Innocent VI. Domaine Grand Veneur dates back to 1826 having been founded at that time by Mathieu Jaume. Since 1979, Alain Jaume has run the Domaine and now has the help of his two sons: Sébastien and Christophe.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics of silky black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhone 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 Cinsaut, 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.

AUT12GRVENCDPRGVV_2012 Item# 143217