Jacqueline André with Eben Lillie

Stocking and Cellar-Stuffers from the Southern Rhone! Pierre André, Vieux Donjon, Clos des Papes, Charvin, Chapelle St. Theodoric and More!

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We're happy to offer some of our favorite Chateauneuf-du-Papes, just in time for the holidays. Here you'll find a few of the top wines from 2015 and 2016 - great gifts for the wine-lover, or great additions to your cellar - and some more mature wines that will drink beautifully at this winter's gatherings of family and friends.

We consider Domaine Pierre André to be one of the very finest producers of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Jacqueline André has very old vines, averaging 70 years old with some parcels over 130, mostly in Les Gardioles, Les Bédines, L`Etang, Les Saumades, Chapouin, Pignan and Guigasse on a mix of sandy clay and galet stones. The estate has been organic "depuis toujours" with biodynamic certification in 1992. The grapes are not de-stemmed and elevage is in concrete tanks and old barrels. The Pierre André wines share some characteristics with Chapelle St. Theodoric, both having parcels in Pignan and Guigasse, and both estates practice whole-cluster fermentations and aging in cement or old wood. But given the age of vines and the presence of galet-stone terroirs at Pierre Andre, the style here is a bit darker and fuller-bodied than the lighter, very elegant style of Chapelle St. Theodoric. We have been fortunate to taste many vintages of Pierre André in France each year and we can attest that the long-time biodynamic farming and old vines give this wine a remarkable complexity and depth, with consistent quality in every vintage. In these wines one tastes quite clearly the differences in the years, without the feeling that one vintage is necessarily "better" than another, just different. A recent purchase of the 2012 Pierre André makes it possible for us to offer this superb wine at a great price - lovers of real Chateauneuf should take advantage, both for current drinking and for cellaring until roughly 2035!

Domaine du Banneret, a small estate of about 4 hectares, is a fine source of classically-styled Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The main parcels are "Le Grand Pierre" in the north just below "Rayas" on sandy soils, and "Bois de Boursan" in the south on mostly sandy clay with rolled stones. The Vidal family use all thirteen permitted grape varieties (vines average 80 years-old), fermented without destemming in concrete with native yeasts and then aged in used oak barrels. The wines balance earthiness and elegance in a way that remind us of Châteauneuf before super-cuvées and consultants, with pure floral aromatics, plenty of garrigue character, and a detailed minerality accompanying the warm fruit. Livingstone-Learmonth in drinkrhone says "If you seek The Real Thing, then here it is." 

Inventories of the 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Papes have shrunk as the vintage has been blessed by the critics, and rightly so, as the wines possess a brightness and balance not frequently seen in the Southern Rhone. We're sorry, but the small quantities of 2016 Vieux Donjon, Clos des Papes, Charvin and Ferrand in today's email are all that is available. At the same time, we're happy to offer a few more bottles of the superb 2015 Chapelle St. Theodoric "Grand Pin" - a great Chateauneuf in the style of Ch. Rayas that we loved when released last year - only 12 btls are available, as well as a few bottles of the lovely 2012 "Grand Pin" at an unbeatable price.

The "More" in today's email is a detour to the northern Rhone for  a few cases of the delightful Saint-Perays from Bernard and Fabrice Gripa. This tiny appellation on the southern border of Cornas produces delicious full-bodied whites from Marsanne and Roussanne, the best estate-bottled wines coming from the Gripas and from Stéphane Robert at Domaine du Tunnel. The 2011 Gripa "Les Fiquiers" is drinking beautifully now - from 50 to 70 year-old Marsanne and Roussane vines on steep granite hillsides, it's  a beautiful accompaniment to full-flavored fish dishes and white meats as well. From vines averaging 35 years of age on both granite and limestone soils, the 2016 "Les Pins" offers a fresher style but still with the rich, complex white and yellow fruits, floral, spice and citrus notes found in these unique wines. We urge you to try them.

 

Ferrand 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape

(90% Grenache averaging 75 years of age, with 10% Syrah, Mourvèdre, Bourboulenc, from sandy and galet stone soils)  "...dark red colour. The nose leads with a stylish aroma of blackberry, mixed in with dried herbes de Provence, a note of rose petal, licorice. It will open and vary well. The fruit swishes around the palate well, has a blueberry-blackberry axis, with good, ripe, live tannins wrapped around it. This is a really genuine Châteauneuf with good heart and serious length, a proper from the ground up wine with some delicate aromatics involved." drinkrhone

  • red
  • 6 in stock
  • $56.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Banneret 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

From vines averaging 80 years-old. The 2015 Banneret Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a translucent ruby robe. The nose offers an array of raspberry, plum, spice, and Provençal herb aromas, with hints of game. On the supple palate flavors of red fruits mingle with notes of black tea, spice, and anise. This has fine concentration and balances its ripe fruit with a savory mineral core on a long expansive finish. There's beautiful balance here and this should age effortlessly. An elegant and suave Châteauneuf and a tremendous value, highly recommended! John McIlwain

  • red
  • 12 in stock
  • $52.99

Banneret 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1.5 L

Was $114.99!

From vines averaging 80 years-old. The 2015 Banneret Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a translucent ruby robe. The nose offers an array of raspberry, plum, spice, and Provençal herb aromas, with hints of game. On the supple palate flavors of red fruits mingle with notes of black tea, spice, and anise. This has fine concentration and balances its ripe fruit with a savory mineral core on a long expansive finish. There's beautiful balance here and this should age effortlessly. An elegant and suave Châteauneuf and a tremendous value, highly recommended! John McIlwain

  • red
  • 5 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

Banneret 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Le Secret

2015 is the inaugural release of the the Vidal family's Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Le Secret. Made up of40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Clairette, 10% Picardan, 5% Roussanne, 5% Bourboulenc, from vines planted in the 1970s. Fermented in stainless steel and  15% oak cask. Bright yellow green robe. The nose has an attractive perfume of white flowers (honeysuckle, orange blossom) with notes of white peaches apricots, and pear skin and spice. The mid-weight palate offers a fine balance of concentration, richness, and freshness with ripe pear and green almond flavors giving way to an overt--nearly salty--minerality on the long, textured, detailed finish. Delicious now, but this should gain in complexity with age. John McIlwain

  • white
  • 7 in stock
  • $54.99

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Pierre Andre 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The 2012 Pierre André is another oustanding Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the capable Jacqueline André, showing earthy blackberry liqueur, garrigue, burnt orange, rose, black olive and stone, for starters. On the palate, there is a silky, grainy texture with  ripe blackberry and bitter cherry, backed with firm acidity, licorice, olive and earthy flavors, finishing with pure cherry and minerals that linger on the palate. Please decant or open 3 to 4 hours in advance if drinking now, or cellar for five to eight years, drink until 2035. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $51.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Pierre Andre 2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Jacqueline André made another superb Chatauneuf-du-Pape in 2011,  much more enjoyable as a young wine than the firmer-structured 2010, but the wine will age beautifully as well. The aromas are typically ripe and complex, showing berry liqueur, smoke, garrigue, cassis, earth and stone. The palate shows deep, round black fruits, earth, tobacco, spice and citrus notes with tannins that are soft and round. This is a lovely CDP to drink now, that shows the great farming and traditional winemaking of the André family and is highly recommended.  Hold for ten to fifteen years for a mature experience. (Organic since 1980 (the first in the AOC) and Biodynamic since 1992. The red is 90% Grenache with Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Vacarese, Counoise, Muscadin and Picpoul. Some parcels are over 100 years old, with the average vine age around 65 years.)

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Pierre André 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

 We consider Domaine Pierre André to be one of the greatest estates in Châteuneuf-du-Pape. Organic since 1980 (one of the first in the AOC) and Biodynamic since 1992. The red is 90% Grenache with Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Vacarese, Counoise, Muscadin and Picpoul. Some parcels are over 100 years old, with the average vine age around 65 years. The 2010 is a tighter and more structured wine than the voluptuous 2009, an elegant Chateauneuf-du-Pape that is built to last! Tasted last winter, it showed aromas of ripe blackberry with cherry, spice, rose, earth, tar, smoke and floral notes. Fabulous palate with deep black fruits with spice, garrigue, earth and saline minerals. Terrific length and density, just opening slightly but ideally give this wine at least three more years and enjoy until 2035. Just a great bottle of Châteauneuf,  one of our favorites from this great vintage!  Highly recommended.  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Vieux Donjon 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

From Drink Rhône "...dark red, full robe. The nose is extremely wide, bears a sweet, southern nature, with layered, well filled black fruits airs allied to notes of black olives, a local density apparent. The palate is weighted and freighted, expressive, comes with a mass of thick content, southern garrigue herbs woven into it, rosemary and a tang of tilleul/linden, laurel all jostling together. This has a grass roots certainty, is a thoroughly grounded wine for the long haul."  Drink until 2040+

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $63.99

Clos des Papes 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

From Drink Rhône "...dark red colour. Has a spiced, ripely fruited nose, blackberry and blueberry together, pockets of mystery, scope, oiliness. The spice is provided by the Mourvèdre. The palate is unctuous, beau, holds very good inside mass, well packed and thorough. There are flecks of flowers, rose hip, sweet touches; it’s rich with spice and sustained length. There is good sève (sap) in this. It’s very long. “What pleases me is the profound nature – it is long and deep,” Vincent Avril. Drink until 2050

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $109.99

  • Organic

Charvin 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Our quick drop of the Charvin 2016 at the importers tasting left us convinced that this is a superb, elegant, old-school Chateauneuf that is worth having in your cellar. We quote the reliable, somewhat English notes of our friend John Livingston-Learmonth on his wonderful website, drinkrhone: "deep, dark red colour. The bouquet packs in a variety of upbeat influences – massed herbs including sage, laurel, with cooked Damson plums from the Grenache, spice and oiliness. The palate is extremely coherent, a really good whole, full of heart and genuine, from the vineyard density. The flavour rests on spiced plum fruits for now, with tea, black olives notes towards the wide and long finish. The tannins have spark, a rockiness that gives the wine a leg of momentum as it ends. This is very good. It can become a major Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with definite individuality and complexity."

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $66.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Chapelle St. Theodoric 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Le Grand Pin

The 2015 "Le Grand Pin" is one of the great Chateauneufs of the vintage! Every now and then we like to share John Livingstone-Learmonth's reviews in DrinkRhone, very British and always accurate..."bright, clear red, very Grenache. This has an über perfumed, Pinot-esque aroma – it has a real child of the sands purity, is arresting. There is great definition in its red fruit, raspberry. This is exciting: it’s a complete symphony on its own. The palate bears stylish red fruits with a silken bearing. This is ACE. It has a most beguiling nature – back I go to the 1960s Châteauneufs of my youth. It has a most belle spherical harmony, beautiful detail, and wholesome, fine juice – way to go wine, where Châteauneuf should be once more after the lost years. Pinot meets Grenache here; it is exceptional, has a total harmony." This will cellar beautifully, perhaps best 2025 to 2035+

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $74.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Chapelle St. Theodoric 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Le Grand Pin

 Chapelle Saint-Theodoric is a joint venture between the Grangeon family of Domaine de Cristia and their USA importer Peter Weygandt. Le Grand Pin is all Grenache from the Pignan vineyard on sandy soils. Whole-cluster fermentation in concrete vat with wild yeasts, minimal extraction, aged in 4 to 10 year-old large casks. This is a beautiful old-fashioned Chateauneuf that is all finesse and beauty, very Burgundian in style and absoulutely delicious. The wine shows elegant aromas of black cherry, raspberry, violet, roast meat, graphite, citrus and Provencal garrigue, quite complex. There is intense sappy fruit on the palate with elegant cherry, raspberry, dark chocolate and earth. Very long, dense and ripe but balanced and bright, not at all heavy or over-extracted. The finish is lovely with sappy fruit and mineral flavors lingering on the palate. Delicious as a young wine, this should cellar beautifully, best perhaps 2023 - 2030. DL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Bosquet des Papes 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chante le Merle VV

Mostly from 80 to 100 year-old Grenache vines, with Syrah and Mourvedre. Whole-cluster fermentation, aged in a combination of old and young barrels (no new) and concrete vat. A great Chateauneuf, showing ripe, supple black fruits, spice, earth and licorice. Quite elegant and balanced. Really beggining to drink well now, and will improve over the next ten years. Look no further for a special bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape... 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $69.99

Bosquet des Papes 2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tradition (Magnum)

(75% Grenache with Mourvedre, Syrah, Vaccarese, Counoise, Cinsault. De-stemmed, aged in large barrel, 550 liter casks and vat.) The "regular" cuvee from Bosquet des Papes is a consistently great value in a traditional style, and soft enough to drink young. "Quite dark, bright and full red. Welcoming, shapely red fruit aroma — immediate appeal, comes with a little smokiness, ash. Really good palate, tasty start, runs with a consisitent flow, strawberry jam in the flavor. Fresh and clear at the end, very faithful to it's place a wine of terroir, good balance. Drink from spring 2012 to 2023-2025." JLL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $79.99

Gripa 2016 Saint-Peray Les Pins

Domaine Bernard and Fabrice Gripa is one of the top estates in Saint-Joseph and Saint-Peray, with the whites being particularly stylish and well-made. The Saint-Peray Les Pins is from 30 year-old vines on both granite and limestone soils, 75% Marsanne, 25% Roussanne. "...yellow robe. Honey-ginger aroma, nice and instant, notes of dried apricot – it’s a lucid bouquet. The palate comes with charming gras, a neat, fresh line through it. It has quiet grip, is an en finesse wine, with balance. The flavour is on white fruits, nectarine, the finale rounded. It’s a bit hidden, is floral, graceful."  DrinkRhone

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $33.99

  • Organic

Gripa 2011 Saint-Peray Les Figuiers

This little-known wine from Bernard and Fabrice Gripa is one of the most delicious and fascinating wines of the Northern Rhône. From 50 to 60 yeal-old vines in Saint-Peray, 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne. "Fine yellow robe. Aniseed and hazelnut tally well together on the front nose; peach and acacia flowers are present, with a typical Saint-Péray tang of saltiness. The palate offers an intricate mix of fruit and more substantial, nutted flavours. It expands steadily on the later palate, has good length and gives a tickle of late acidity. It needs time to fuse – is not an obvious wine. Has something of a red wine in its make-up and late grounding." Decant if drinking now, this will develop beautifully over the next ten years. Livingston-Learmonth in DrinkRhône  

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $41.99

  • Organic