M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac 2015 Front Label
M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac 2015 Front LabelM. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac 2015  Front Bottle Shot

M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac 2015

  • WS96
  • RP96
  • JD96
  • JS94
750ML / 15.5% ABV
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750ML / 15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A pure and intense wine of 100% old-vine Grenache, this unique hilltop vineyard west of the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape makes some of the silkiest and most elegant wines in the region. Its biodynamic viticulture ensures the low yields (15-20 HL/HA) necessary to create an intense Grenache-only wine, and its late picking develops exotic aromas in a very full-bodied and long flavored wine.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 96
Wine Spectator
Very silky and refined, but with ample depth and drive, as the core of kirsch, plum sauce and raspberry coulis flavors is focused and lengthy, while light tea, incense, mineral and shiso leaf notes dart throughout. The long finish has well-embedded, latent grip. Should cruise in the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2040.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac is 100% Grenache, but this parcel is located on the western edge of the appellation, in what Chapoutier describes as a hot, dry location—even in the context of the appellation. From vines planted in 1901-1902, this is a dense, plummy wine, oozing with concentrated fruit and even turning a bit fudge-like on the long, supple finish. I don't expect it to age quite as well as the Croix de Bois, but it's still a thrilling wine.
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Châteauneuf-Du-Pape Barbe Rac comes from a single vineyard on the western side of the appellation. Made from 100% Grenache and brought up all in concrete tank, it offers a gorgeous bouquet of strawberry jam, garrigue, pepper and dried meat. Full-bodied, powerful, elegant and seamless on the palate, with a savory, layered, complex profile, give bottles 3-4 years and enjoy over the following 10-15.
JS 94
James Suckling
Terrific, red berries and red plums with an array of wild, mountain herbs on offer. There’s a spicy, almost peppery thread through the palate. The tannins arrive in pastry-like layers. Superb. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2020.
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M. Chapoutier

M. Chapoutier

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M. Chapoutier, France
M. Chapoutier Michel Chapoutier at Ermitage Winery Image
No name is more closely associated with the greatness of the Rhone valley than Chapoutier.

The history of the Chapoutier family stretches back to the early nineteenth century when current owner Michel Chapoutier's great-, great-, great-grandfather Marius purchased an estate and some vineyards in the now famous village of Tain l'Hermitage in the Northern Rhône Valley. Marius Chapoutier made history in the region when he became the first grape grower there to vinify his own fruit. Marius had tasted wines other winemakers produced using his fruit and he realized that something was lost in translation, so to speak. He knew that he owned some of the best growing sites in the appellation and he believed — rightly — that the grapes grown in his vineyards could produce long-lived world-class wines. In a move unusual at the time, he decided that he should make the wine himself. Not only did the quality of the wines increase greatly, but this move provided the capital to expand the Chapoutiers’ already legendary estate.

A visionary and pioneer in biodynamic winemaking, his restless energy and unconditional commitment to quality have produced tremendous success, with the most 90+ point ratings of all Rhône producers and 16 "100 point" rated wines.

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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, Châteauneuf-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 Châteauneuf-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 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. 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.

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

SWS892937_2015 Item# 512133

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