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Mayard Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau de Ma Mere 2004

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
  • RP92
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

La Crau de Ma Mere comes from a selection of very old vines located in the Crau vineyard site to the northeast of the appellation and is listed in the Grenache Conservatory.

It is a very concentrated wine with a lot of character that matches well with meat, game as well as milky and fatty cheese.

Blend: 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The best of the group is the 2004 La Crau de Ma Mere, which is full-bodied, has more opulence, deeper fruit, but loads of black cherry and licorice notes intertwined with hints of seaweed, roasted herbs, and smoke. It is a real beauty. Drink it over the next 5-7 years.

As I have written in the past, all three cuvees from Pere Pape are Provencal in their typicity. In short, they are up-front and delicious, with forward fruit and plenty of character/personality. I don’t think they will make old bones by any means, as they are clearly designed for immediate consumption, or aging for up to a decade in the case of their top cuvee, Le Crau de Ma Mere. The 2004s have turned out to be richly fruity, forward wines of medium weight as well as pure, spicy, and heady.

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Mayard

Mayard

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Mayard, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
This family-run estate nestles in the heart of the prestigious village of Châteauneuf du Pape. It is currently managed by Françoise, Béatrice and Didier Mayard, from the fifth generation of owners. The estate spreads across 43 hectares, featuring a huge diversity of terroirs and grape varieties. The rigor and passion that the team brings to bear are reflected in three cuvées, each the fruit of the work of successive generations.

At the estate, they are fully committed to environmentally-friendly sustainable agriculture, with their main focus firmly on the terroir. Cultivation methods are traditional and fully ecological: rather than using chemical fertilisers and weed killers, they work the soil with machines and put in a great amount of manual labor at each stage of the vines' growth cycle.

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.

EXC3101040_2004_0 Item# 111030