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Domaine Grand Veneur La Fontaine Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2015

Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP94
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Yellow-gold color. The nose is rich in aromas of citrus fruit, tropical fruit, quince and honey, with a touch of vanilla. On the palate, the same aromas appear together with a fatness combining exotic fruit and vanilla. The wine is rich, generous and elegant, with extraordinary length. La Fontaine is often considerated to be one of the best Chateauneuf du Pape white, and it is by definition a superb gastronomy wine.

Best with fish dishes in sauce or foie gras, white meat and delicate cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A bigger, richer wine, the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape La Fontaine Blanc is still aging in barrel and is marginally darker in color than the classic white. Buttered apples, brioche, honeycomb and hint of orange blossom emerge from this full-bodied, concentrated, seriously textured white that has moderate acidity and tons of fruit. It will be interesting to see how this comes together, but it has serious potential.

Range: (92-94)+

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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 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 White Blends

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Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions, proving most successful in Spain, Australia and California. Typically some combination of Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varyiong degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation.

In the Glass

Each variety contibutes something unique and different. Round, textural Grenache blanc gives green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes while Viognier provides a creamy texture and elegant aromatics. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

Perfect Pairings

White Rhône blends are quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might often be matched to red wines. Heavier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

Sommelier Secret

In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Péray. Condrieu and Château-Grillet can produce single-varietal Viognier only. The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes including the ones named above as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc.

AUT15GRVCDRBLFON_2015 Item# 303833