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Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape les Petits Pieds d'Armand 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP98
0% ABV
  • RP95
  • V94
  • WS92
  • RP94
  • WS90
  • RP98
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • WS94
  • WS95
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even better, and possibly the wine of the vintage, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Petits d’Armand is about as fabulous an expression of old vine Grenache as you’re likely to find. Massive and decadent, yet lively and fresh, it offers up a sweet bouquet of berry fruits, licorice, incense, flowers, garrigue to go with full-bodied richness and depth, thrilling purity, good freshness and blockbuster length. Gorgeous all around, it should drink well on release, yet last for 15+ years. Don’t miss it! Drink 2014-2027.

Range:95-98 Points

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Domaine Olivier Hillaire

Domaine Olivier Hillaire

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Domaine Olivier Hillaire, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Before 2007 there was only one brasserie in the centre of Chateauneuf du Pape, La Mule du Pape. In 2007 Olivier Hillaire has purchaced the boulangerie on the other site of the street and runs here another brasserie. At lunch time you can meet him here serving the guests with the same engagement as he shows talking about his wines.

As Hillaire doesn't have his own cellars yet, his wines are aged in a big building in Sorgues former used to store apples. Several producers use this place, among them Henri Bonneau and André Brunel

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.

YAO132671_2012 Item# 132671