M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Croix de Bois 2015 Front Label
M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Croix de Bois 2015 Front LabelM. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Croix de Bois 2015  Front Bottle Shot

M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Croix de Bois 2015

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  • JD96
  • WS91
750ML / 15% ABV
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750ML / 15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This vineyard, a traditional “lieu-dit,” has long been the source of grapes for Chapoutier’s La Bernardine proprietary wine. Its vines have matured to a minimal-yield level (15 HL/HA), and it is capable of producing its own great wine. About half the age of Barbe Rac, and a bit lower in elevation, its spicy nose and deep red-fruit flavors make a distinctive statement of dense Grenache intensity. An immediate hit its first vintage 1998, it will continue to make waves as its vines show further maturity.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
At the top end of Chapoutier's Southern Rhône hierarchy are the two sélections parcellaires from Châteauneuf du Pape. I had a slight preference for the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois, which comes from the Bédarrides (eastern) side of the appellation, a site with galets roulés over clay, which Chapoutier says resists drought. This is a full-bodied, dense, plummy wine, but it retains ample freshness and offers loads of spicy complexity, including exotic notes like cumin and coriander that linger enticingly on the finish.
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Châteauneuf-Du-Pape Croix de Bois is another single vineyard cuvée made from 100% Grenache that was completely destemmed and aged all in concrete. It's slightly deeper ruby colored than Barbe Rac and offers a more fruit-driven style. Blueberry, plums, black cherries, spring flowers and Asian spice. Building with time in the glass, ripe, voluptuous and elegant, yet also concentrated and structured, it needs 2-4 years of bottle age.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
A burly customer, with singed bay leaf, worn leather and peppery nuances leading the way for a mouthfilling core of blackberry and black currant compote flavors. The finish is chewy thanks to tarry grip. Notably sauvage in feel. This will have no problem aging, but the rusticity won't be for everyone. Best from 2020 through 2035. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.
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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 M. 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, 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.

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SWS892933_2015 Item# 512134

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