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We're proud to offer the superb Châteauneufs of Domaine Pierre André, featuring the oustanding 2016 Rouge, a beautiful wine which can be drunk now with great enjoyment and that will cellar beautifully for 25 to 30 years! The estate was founded in 1957 by Pierre André, who began to lower chemical treatments in 1963, and then converted to organic farming, certified in 1980, one of the first in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. His daughter Jacqueline took over in 1984 and soon converted to Biodynamic farming, certified by Demeter in 1992. The estate’s vines average 65-70 years old with some parcels 100-120 years old, mostly in the lieu-dits of Les Gardioles, Les Bédines, L`Etang, Les Saumades, Chapouin, Pignan and Guigasse, in sandy solis for the white (less than one hectare) and a combination mostly of sandy clay and galets stones for the red. The 2017 Blanc is made from Clairette and Bourboulenc and is a beautifully crystalline wine of terroir, the blend for the red is approximately 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 8% Mourvèdre and 2% Cinsault with Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscardin and Picpoul noir. There is a 30-day vinification, whole bunch fermentation, pumping overs, a little part vat emptying/refilling; aging is in large oak barrels for 6-8 months, then un-lined concrete vat for 12-18 months. Pierre André has always been one of my favorite Châteauneufs, and after tasting with Jacqueline over the past 7 or 8 years I am convinced that there are no more soulful and authentic wines than these in the appellation. Given the extraordinary nature of the farming and intelligent no-nonsense winemaking I can safely say that for me this is the Domaine Pierre Gonon of Châteauneuf! (Please Note: Case or mixed-case discount on Pierre André wines is 20%. Normal 10% Discount applies to all other wines in today's email.)
Our good friend Eric Texier makes a tiny quantity of brilliant Châteauneuf, red and white, with the goal of making the most elegant, unforced and terroir-expressive wines possible. The white is a beautiful wine of terroir - like the Pierre André it is made from Bourbelenc and Clairette, grown in "Bois Senechaux," bush-trained so that the leaves help shade the fruit from the hot sun. The site is flat and stony with cool, clay-based soils over limestone and harvested quite early to preserve freshness of fruit. Whole cluster, direct press, native yeast fermentation in neutral oak, aging on lees, bottling a year after harvest. Eric's Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Vieilles Vignes avoids the top-heavy, concentrated, point-chasing style of much modern CDP in favor of a balanced and well structured wine that will age gracefully. We can offer 12 btls each of these rare and beautiful wines. (Please inquire regarding our tiny allocation of 2016 Rouge, arriving in November.)
Domaine de Cristia established itself in 1942, with only 2 hectares of vines at the time. Since 1999, Baptiste Grangeon has been running the program with his sister Dominique, and the two have gradually added 20 hectares of vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Certified organic for over a decade now, no chemicals, pesticides or herbicides are used to treat the soil. 90% of their grapes come from the lieu-dit Cristia, in the eastern part of the appellation, and 10% of their holdings are spread near Rayas. The vines see northeastern exposure, and the terroir is composed mostly of clay and sandy marl. After harvest, the grapes are destemmed and the Grenache is aged in concrete tanks for 16 months, while the Syrah and Mourvèdre are aged in 2-3 year-old barrels. This is a lush and aromatic Châteauneuf-du-Pape, an ode to the elegant style of the past. Cristia's Châteauneuf-du-Pape can be enjoyed now, but will also age beautifully.
Chapelle St. Theodoric is a project of Cristia's Baptiste Grangeon and importer Peter Weygandt. The domain is comprised of two parcels; one in the lieu-dit "La Guigasse," which is a pure sand soil and where the vines (all Grenache) range in age of from 50 to 100 years; and the other parcel at the top of Pignan, "Le Grand Pin", literally adjoining the vines of Chateau Rayas, also in pure sand and also pure, old vines Grenache. The cuvée "Sablons" is 100% Grenache from both parcels. The farming is organic, and the grapes see a two to three week vinification, with the stems, with wild yeasts and minimal extraction. The 2016 Les Sablons has beautiful density and length - almost Burgundian in style. It's a fantastic Châteauneuf-du-Pape for early drinking.
Mas de Boislauzon is a lesser-known, over-achieving estate located in the northern sector of Châteauneuf, with parcels in the lieu-dits of Cabrières, Boislauzon, Lagardiole, Palestor and Pignan. The soil types are sandy at Pignan, galets roulés at Boislauzon, with more clay at la Gardiole et Palestor. Although they have always farmed well, the estate began organic certification in 2009. Here the grapes are de-stemmed and aging is in concrete vats and old barrels. The 2016 Mas de Boislauzon is a delicious and age-worthy Châteauneuf-du-Pape that will both drink well young and age gracefully until 2040 or longer.
La Bastide Saint-Dominique: While hunting for value in the excellent 2016 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, we happened across this organic estate based in Courthezon that is making lovely Châteauneufs from organic parcels in Pignan, Guigasse, Bédines and Chapouin. The vines are 25 to 80 years old, the grapes are destemmed and the wine ages for 18 months in cement vats. The style here is a bit forward, and the wine is undeniably delicious with an intense bouquet of sweet liqueur fruit, kirsh liqueur, blueberry and blackberry fruits, licorice, dark chocolate and spice.
All wines arrive by 10/24 with the exception of Pierre André, arriving approximately Nov 5th.
The 2017 Pierre André Blanc is an extraordinary Châteauneuf-du-Pape from an extraordinary estate - organic since 1980 (one of the first in the AOC) and Biodynamic since 1992. The blend is now approximately 50-60% Bourboulenc and 40-50% old-vine Clairette (planted in the 1920s) grown on sandy soils in the lieu-dits of "Saint-Georges," "Etang" and "les Bédines," giving a wine that accentuates the beautiful minerality brought by the terroir and the superb farming.The wine shows beautiful aromas of stone fruits, almond, anise, citrus, white flowers and stone. The palate is dense and crystalline with flavors of minerals, licorice, pear and peach skin with fabulous density and length and firm stony acidity. Serve with full-flavored fish dishes, bouillabaisse, white meats, goat cheeses. Beautiful now, this will drink well over the next 15 to 20 years. Bravo to Jaqueline and Vincent André!
As usual, Eric Texier's Châteauneuf-du-Pape avoids the top-heavy, concentrated, 100 point-chasing style of much modern CDP in favor of a balanced and well structured wine that will age gracefully. There is density here, but without excess weight and the fruit is complex and earthy with fabulous length. We look forward to drinking a few in about twenty years. The 2015 is 95% Grenache and 5% Mourvèdre. The Grenache comes from La Crau, a north-facing vineyard in the NE part of the appellation, where the tannins reach phenolic ripeness slowly but surely and without an overwhelmingly high alcohol level.
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, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vacarese, Counoise, Muscadin and Picpoul. Some parcels are over 100 years old, with the average vine age around 65 years. The 2016 is a beautiful glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, showing fresh, complex aromas of ripe blackberry with cherry, spice, rose, earth, tar, smoke and floral notes. On the palate, the wine is perfectly structured, similar to the 2010, with deep blackberry and black cherry liqueur with spice, garrigue, earth and saline minerals. A great CDP for aging, this is delicious now in its vibrant youth, but will repay waiting for ten years and then enjoy until 2050! Very highly recommended. (Note: Pierre André Special Price is $53.99) David Lillie
Despite the ripeness of the vintage, the 2015 Pierre André is a relatively light-bodied CDP but with extraordinary length and beautifully complex sappy fruit. I love John Livingstone-Learmonth’s notes from DrinkRhone: “fine red robe. The nose has aromas of free running raspberry fruits, floral appeal, delicacy, along with caramel. There’s refinement in the glass, smoky notes. It’s very far from the BIG WINE school of Châteauneuf. The palate is peppery, fluid, hands out a cool, pure Grenache pitter patter, en finesse. This is young, and will remain young, holds good detail. It is gentle, but within there is sure depth. It’s interesting and subtle, intricate. It ends on cool, menthol notes; there’s some crunch from the stems. 14.5°” (drink until 2042).
This is certainly one of the finest of the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Papes - only a few bottles are left... (90-95% Grenache planted in 1901-02, from sandy soils on Les Pialons, La Girardette, 10% Counoise, Cinsault, Terret Noir, Clairette, 40% destemmed, aged in concrete vats) "...full red robe. The bouquet lies in wait thanks to the pedigree and natural thickness of the black fruits from the old Grenache vines, has an established oiliness from them, and shows cool sides outside them. Prune, a touch of leather feature. The palate is rich and rolling with a gentle wave of spherical content and luxurious, natural tannins that lead into black olives, and lightly salted finish. This is unhurried wine, with great ageing potential, and, mercifully, no headiness. The layers of fruit and content are impressive. Drink from 2022, so there can be an extra level of variety and stimulation. I can wish for no more from this great Châteauneuf." drinkrhone (Rated by drinkrhone in the same group with Rayas, Marcoux VV and Beaucastel J Perrin)
Domaine Cristia was established in 1942 with only 2 hectares of vines. Since 1999 the estate has expanded to 20 hectares in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is being run by the third generation - Baptiste and Dominique Grangeon. The two have been farming using only natural methods, gaining organic certification in 2008. All 20 of their hectares are located in the eastern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with various soil types seeing northeastern exposure. Their Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, and 15% Mourvèdre, all from clay and sandy marl terroir. The grapes are sorted and fully destemmed after harvest. The Grenache is aged in stainless steel tanks for 16 months, while the Mourvèdre and Syrah are aged in 2 to 3 year-old barrels. The palate is bright and floral, with red fruit abounding, along with notes of sour cherry, ginger, bright spice, blackberries, cassis and plums. The finish is a delightful medley of dark fruit and red flowers. A classic rendition of the old-style Châteauneuf-du-Pape. JDC
(While some might think that Châteaunuef-du-Pape is too heavy for Thanksgiving, this elegant CDP from sandy soils near Rayas has the balance and lighter body that will make it pair beautifully with Turkey and trimmings) Chappelle St. Theodoric - a project of winemaker Bapiste Grangeon and Peter Weygant - has quickly become one of our favorite Southern Rhône producers. The domaine is comprised of two parcels of Grenache vines (each ranging in age between 50-100 years): La Guigasse, a soil of pure sand, and Le Grand Pin, a terroir of pure sand at the top of Pignan - and famously neighboring Chateau Rayas. "Les Sablons" is Grenache from both parcels, which sees whole cluster vinification, and aged in demi-muids. The 2016 is a bolder and richer vintage than most: it will still carry the aromatics and floral traits of Chapelle St. Theodoric's wines, yet with beautiful undercurrents of black raspberry, red flowers, fresh red cherry and a long finish of cassis and bright plum. An elegant wine that can be aged for quite some time, or enjoyed now after an hour decant. JDC
Mas de Boislauzon is a lesser-known, over-achieving estate located in the northern sector of Châteauneuf, with parcels in the lieu-dits of Cabrières, Boislauzon, Lagardiole, Palestor and Pignan. The soil types are sandy at Pignan, galets roulés at Boislauzon, with more clay at la Gardiole and Palestor. Organic farming since 2009. Approximately 70% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre. The grapes are de-stemmed and aging is in concrete vats and old barrels. The 2016 is a superb and age-worthy Châteauneuf-du-Pape that will both drink well young and age gracefully until 2040 or longer. "The wine shows firm red colour. The nose is an enjoyable combo of blackberry and raspberry fruit, has a soft floral hover, and a beguiling sweetness. The fruit has a pure, “glistening” quality. The palate is authentic, comes with southern tones including iodine, black olives, laurel that speckle the dark fruit well. There are dark tannins well embedded, and it ends with momentum, good carry, some gunflint clarity and spicing. This will be a handsome glass in time." DrinkRhone
While hunting for value in the excellent 2016 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, we happened across this organic estate based in Courthezon that is making lovely Châteauneufs from organic parcels in Pignan, Guigasse, Bédines and Chapouin. The vines are 25 to 80 years old, the grapes are destemmed and the wine ages for 18 months in cement vats. The style here is a bit forward, and the wine is undeniably delicious with an intense bouquet of sweet liqueur fruit, kirsh liqueur, blueberry and blackberry fruits, licorice, dark chocolate and spice. The palate shows black fruits with elegant tannins with smooth texture and the freshness of the 2016s. This is a wine that can be enjoyed young and will hold nicely over the next ten to fifteen years - really an excellent value and quite representative of this superb vintage. David Lillie