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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About this WINE

Domaine des Senechaux

Domaine des Senechaux

Domaine des Sénéchaux is one of the oldest domaines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape with a history dating back to the 14th century . The identity of the eponymous old men is something of a mystery; they look a little like Rodin's Burghers of Calais but are, in all likelihood, unrelated.

The estate covers 25 hectares in two excellent areas: 12 hectares near Château la Nerthe and 15 hectares in the Montalivet-Bois des Sénéchaux district, near Château Rayas. The good works to rejeuvenate the estate were initiated by entrepreneur Pascal Roux, but the serious qualitative impulse has, since 2006, been provided by Jean Michel Cazes and his son Jean Charles. The Cazes are, of course, even more famous for their ownership of the superlative Pauillac property Lynch Bages The vineyards have been restored to their former glory and the winemaking facilities have been fully modernised.

The imperative, advocated by the father and adhered to by the son, has been , very importantly, to make a classic Châteauneuf-Du-Pape and not to try and make a great Bordeaux wine in the heart of the Rhône Valley.

The red is a blend of 90% Grenache, 5% Syrah, 3% Mourvèdre and 2% other varietals. Fermentation is in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and the wines are then matured in French oak barrels for 12- 15 months, some of which are new. The wines are bottled unfiltered.

The white wine only makes up 5% of production; the grapes being Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne, the last of which is fermented in barrique with stirring of the yeast. The white is beautifully perfumed and full of Southern charm.

Delicacy and finesse are the bywords here with the wines being accessible in youth although they tend to show at their best with 7-10 years of bottle ageing. Each year they get better.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the largest and most important wine appellation in the southern Rhône. It is home to more than 3,200 hectares of vineyards and over 80 growers; more wine is produced in Châteauneuf than the whole of the northern Rhône put together. The vineyards are bounded to the west by the Rhône river and to the east by the A7 autoroute.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée established in France, in 1932. Small, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed known as galets roulés are a key aspect of what makes Châteauneuf -du-Pape wines so distinctive, with the rocks reflecting heat back into the vines at night, thus increasing ripeness and reducing acidity.

The gloriously rich red wines, redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, are enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Fourteen are permitted for reds: GrenacheMouvedreSyrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache typically dominates with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support.

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is becoming increasingly sought-after, even though it represents less than 10 percent of the total production. Here, five grapes are permitted: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin.

Recommended Producers: Château de Beaucastel, Clos de Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Château Rayas,, Domaine de la Charbonnière, Sabon, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Perrin

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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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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate92/100
Parker90/100

Critic reviews

The 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
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