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Flat front label of wine

Domaine La Milliere Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP92
  • WS92
14% ABV
  • RP94
All Vintages
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A dynamic, savory and stunningly pure wine that captures all the saturated richness of the 2009 vintage without the excess; it may be better than the estate's stunning 2007 and will certainly reward a hundredfold in a cool cellar. Precise, peppery aromas and the complexity of Moroccan spices show on the expressive nose; the mouth delivers cherries, licorice and colorful peppercorns yet retains a purity and balance that seems almost magical considering its flavorful concentration. The estate's stony terroir (the classic Châteauneuf "galets roules") are present in the nose and finish, a mineral edge that keeps every sip lively and well-defined. A heady blend of 70% Grenache, 8% Mourvèdre, 8% Syrah, 8% Cinsault and 6% Counoise, aged completely in the family's older foudre.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (from 80-100 year old vines) exhibits a dark ruby/plum color as well as a big, voluptuous mouthfeel revealing copious pepper, garrigue, black cherry, lavender and damp earth notes. It is a full-bodied, luscious, sexy example of Chateauneuf du Pape to enjoy over the next decade.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This is alluring, with warm ganache and black tea notes leading the way for velvety-textured fig sauce, plum and crushed blackberry fruit. The long finish is filled with licorice and anise. Drink now through 2023. 3,000 cases made.
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Domaine La Milliere

Domaine La Milliere

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Domaine La Milliere, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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All of Arnaud's Châteauneuf vines are located in Cabrières, just below Mont Redon. This region is blessed with the best soils of Châteauneuf—round galet stones the size of fists, well-draining sand, and mineral-rich limestone. Vines that have seen close to a century of life in Châteauneuf sit north/west on Arnaud’s vineyard slopes.

Ancient too are the vines Arnaud sources for his "smaller" crus. Some of Arnaud's oldest Grenache vines grow in his vineyards just below Mont Redon. These 100+ year old vines produce incredibly dense fruit that make up his finest Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône-Villages wines.

Millière’s Merlot vineyards sit right next to his Côtes du Rhône plots. These younger vines grow on sandy, clay-based soils. This region, just north of Cabrières near Orange, is very good for vin de pays. The mistral sweeps through, keeping humidity low, while sandy soils provide good drainage. A "joli terroir de Merlot," says Millière.

Arnaud’s life philosophy is organic—in the fields and in his kitchen, too.

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 Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

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 is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône 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 make an appearance.

NBIMILLCDP_2009 Item# 109316