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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Mon Aieul 2003

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep, layered and rich, the 2003 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de mon Aieul is comprised almost all of Grenache and always comes from three lieux-dits: La Crau, Guigasse and Les Serres. Aged all in tank and showing none of the negative traits of the vintage, it has a rich, meaty bouquet of semi-mature red and black fruits, wild herbs, melted licorice, dusty minerality and roasted beef. Full-bodied, gorgeously pure and seamless, with solid underlying structure and a core of sweet fruit, it is a brilliant wine. I don’t see any upside to holding bottles, yet given the balance, richness and mid-palate depth, it should continue to hold for another 5-8 years and certainly drink nicely well past that.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Really silky for an '03, with gorgeous raspberry ganache and cassis fruit that glides atop grilled herb, mineral and tar flavors. Long, authoritative finish shows lots of grip and fruit. A powerful yet racy wine. This really rocks.
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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils

Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils

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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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In 1931 an Italian Francis Usseglio left Italy and went to Chateauneuf du Pape in France. Here he got a job at some winegrowers. After the war he got his own property - in 1948. He had two sons Pierre and Raymond. Pierre Usseglio got his father's property and Raymond established another estate. Today the 3. generation is in charge. The sons of Pierre Usseglio, Jean-Pierre and Thierry run Domaine Pierre Usseglio and Stephanie runs Domaine Raymond Usseglio. Today Domaine Pierre Usseglio consists of 21 ha. divided in 15 different parcels in the appellation. Half of the vines are about 60 years old and the rest is about 30 years old.

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.

ARP197826_2003 Item# 197826