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Paul Autard Cote Ronde Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP93
  • WS93
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The tannins are magnificently ripe and sweet and are buried in the opulently ripe fruit. The wines have tremendous depth, power, and richness, with aromas and flavors of violets, black-berry, cassis and cherry fruits, espresso, and spices. The wines finish with great length and lingering, mouth-coating flavors. All of these elements (and more) and framed in a very balanced, elegant, supple package, which is the hallmark of the Autard house style.

The Cuvee La Cote Ronde (50% each Grenache and Syrah) highlights the unique terrior of its origins in the stony soils on the plain between Chateauneuf du Pape and Courthezon. It is structured and powerful with intense fruit and great length.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Autard’s quasi-modern-styled offering is the dense plum/purple-colored 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee La Cote Ronde, a blend of equal parts Grenache and Syrah from relatively old vines (60 plus years) that sees some new oak barrels. However, the 2009 shows only subtle evidence of vanillin and toast. It is a seductive, full-bodied, opulent effort displaying notes of caramelized red and black fruits, herbs, licorice and a hint of ink. This full-bodied, rich 2009 is ideal for drinking over the next 12+ years.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This is beautifully rendered, with sleek, polished layers of blackberry, cassis and boysenberry fruit inlaid with toasty spice and sweet anise notes. The long, ganache-coated finish glides along despite its heft, with a great roasted mesquite note that lingers on and on. Drink now through 2013.
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Paul Autard

Paul Autard

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Paul Autard, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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The story of the Autard family is the story of all great appellations, in that it is the story of the evolution of expertise -- the sum of first-hand experiences, observations, experiments, inventions, and discoveries, in this case specific to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the Autard property in particular -- as it is passed down from generation to generation.

The Autard family effort began in Courthézon, with an old farm-turned-vineyard; then in 2005 the enterprise took a giant step forward, with the construction of a new cave that permits vast improvements at every stage in the winemaking cycle.

The Autard family effort began in Courthézon, with an old farm-turned-vineyard; then in 2005 the enterprise took a giant step forward, with the construction of a new cave that permits vast improvements at every stage in the winemaking cycle.In any undertaking that spans the generations, it is connoisseurship -- in the case of winemaking, a multiple matter of climate, land, vines, tools, and techniques -- that is the cornerstone...

Jean-Paul, as the heir of this expertise, brings to it his own ideas and intuitions, in order to enhance as well as perpetuate the Autard domaine’s well-deserved prestige. Jean-Paul, as the heir of this expertise, brings to it his own ideas and intuitions, in order to enhance as well as perpetuate the Autard domaine’s well-deserved prestige.

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 spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

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, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red 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, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

VOSAUT09A003_2009 Item# 111157