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Patrick Lesec Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rubis 2001

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

This lovely, perfumed Châteauneuf du Pape is loaded with sweet, lush black raspberry and black cherry fruit. Its fine, soft tannins give it a supple texture, elegant balance and a long, sweet finish. The 2001 is denser, richer and more intense than the 2000, and will improve with some bottle age. 95% Grenache, 5% Syrah. 100% La Crau vineyard.

"The Chateauneuf du Pape Rubis is a blend of 95% Grenache and 5% Syrah aged in equal parts tank and old wood barrels. All of this cuvee comes from the famed La Crau sector. … The dense ruby/purple-colored 2001 appears to be a worthy rival. Exhibiting more garrigue, lavender, and ground pepper notes in its black cherry, cassis, and plum-scented bouquet, it is a full-bodied example with terrific purity, a multidimensional palate feel, and a long, lusty, decadent finish. It will have 15+ years of aging potential."
-The Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

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Patrick Lesec

Patrick Lesec

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South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance...

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Chenin Blanc

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines...

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is also widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen,” and to a lesser extent in California.

In the Glass

Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

Sommelier Secret

There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

WWH357CRL12_2001 Item# 61881

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