2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red, Domaine des Sénéchaux

2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red, Domaine des Sénéchaux

Product: 20068005957
2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red, Domaine des Sénéchaux

Description

Domaine des Sénéchaux is currently the most exciting property in Châteaunuef du Pape. The reason? It has been purchased by Jean Michel Cazes of Lynch Bages fame in Bordeaux. Jean Michel and his son Jean Charles have recognised the outstanding quality of the terroir, with its trademark pudding stones and decorative old vines, and have adopted the clever strategy of consultation to ensure that the essence and personality of the wine is not fundamentally changed. As a result the wine is made in a similar way and its make up remains as before (65% Grenache, 15 % each of Syrah and Mourvèdre and a hint of both Cinsault and Counoise). Despite this, and maybe, paradoxically, because of it, the wine has improved virtually beyond recognition.The rich core of sweet fruit remains, but is now more concentrated and much more focused. The tannins are wonderfully woven, the aromatics infused with notes of chocolate and garrigue; the palate is profoundly satisfying. All in all very Châteauneuf Du Pape, but now from the top drawer; the Bordelais savoir faire subtly but memorably infused. The eponymous old men who adorn the label will have very good reasons to be pleased!
(Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer)
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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate92/100
Robert Parker90/100
Wine Advocate92/100
The 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape from Domaine des Senechaux is impressive (its better than the 2005) and offers up lots of tapenade, macerated black cherries, spice box and garrigue in a medium to full-bodied, sexy, sweetly fruited, charming profile. Made from 64% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 15% Mourvdre and the rest other permitted varieties, it was aged 12 months in a combination of foudre, stainless steel and barrels. Note: I believe this was the first vintage where the estate was completely under control of the new owners, the team of Jean-Michel Cazes of Lynch Bages, and from 2006 onward, the quality takes a noticeable step up.
Jeb Dunnuck - 04/03/2016 Read more
Robert Parker90/100
Whether it is a coincidence or not, new proprietor Jean-Michel Cazes (that name should sound familiar to those who love his wines from Lynch-Bages in Pauillac, Bordeaux) is head of the new syndicate that owns Senechaux, and the 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape is the best wine I have yet tasted there. I wouldn’t say the style has changed as much as there is just more built into the wine. Provencal with classic kirsch liqueur, lavender, ground pepper, and spice box, the wine is full-bodied, opulent, exceptionally hedonistic and lush, with superb concentration, purity, and texture... Read more

About this WINE

Domaine des Senechaux

Domaine des Senechaux

Sénéchaux is an excellent example of how a large “alien” concern – in this case the Cazes family of Château Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux – should manage its purchase. Here, they invest as and where necessary, but without altering the historical essence of the domaine, personified here by the longstanding régisseur Bernard Tranchecoste. Indeed, the domaine itself dates back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest wineries of the region.

The team at Sénéchaux are extremely happy with their 2019 vintage, and were able to harvest perfectly healthy grapes thanks, in part, to the generous soil water levels leftover from the 2018 rains which helped mitigate the summer heat. They are one of the few producers in the region to retain a simple and traditional two-wine offering.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The most celebrated village of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the birthplace of the now indispensable French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system – imperfect though it may be. Compared to the Northern Rhône, the vineyards here are relatively flat and often feature the iconic galet pebbles – the precise benefits of which are a source of much debate. Minimum alcohol levels required by the AOC are the highest in France, but at 12.5% it is well below the natural generosity of Grenache, which only achieves its full aromatic potential when it is fully ripe and laden with the resultant high sugars. Syrah and Mourvèdre contribute the other defining elements in the blend, adding pepper, savoury spice and structure to the decadent Grenache. There are a further 10 permitted red grape varieties which can be used to adjust the “seasoning”. Of the five white varieties permitted, it is Grenache Noir’s sibling – predictably perhaps – Grenache Blanc, which dominates, though Roussanne shows a great deal of promise when handled well, notably at Château de Beaucastel.

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Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

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