2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Domaine des Sénéchaux, Rhône

2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Domaine des Sénéchaux, Rhône

Product: 20098005957
2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Domaine des Sénéchaux, Rhône

Description

The red is made up of 63% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 17% shared between Mourvèdre, Cinsualt and Vaccarèse. The wine has a silky, finely seamed texture and a powerful pot-pourri of flavours which flatter the palate with their pleasing combination of the familiar and the new.
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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate93/100
Wine Spectator 93/100
Jeb Dunnuck93+/100
Wine Advocate93/100
The sexy, full-bodied, dense garnet-colored 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape reveals abundant aromas of kirsch, plums, figs and black fruits, a lavish texture, an opulent mouthfeel and a long finish. There is not a hard edge to be found in this silky Chateauneuf. Drink it over the next decade.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 31/10/2011 Read more
Wine Spectator 93/100

This is powerfully rendered, with a still taut and compact yet racy core of linzer torte, black licorice snap, fig sauce and cassis notes that all drive through the long finish, where hints of juniper, roasted alder wood and smoldering tobacco lurk. Well-embedded acidity holds it all together as well, with impressive range and depth. It seems the Cazes family has stepped it up here. Best from 2013 through 2023. 2,500 cases made, 500 cases imported.

Wine Spectator (Feb 2012)

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Jeb Dunnuck93+/100

Up there with the ’07 and a rocking Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine des Sénéchaux’s 2009 (roughly 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and the rest Mourvèdre, Cinsualt and Vaccarèse aged in neutral barrels) offers up perfumed, sweet aromas of kirsch liqueur, framboise, licorice, roasted meats, and loads of garrigue and herbs de Provence-like qualities that flow to a full-bodied, elegant, and seamless red. It opens up beautifully in the glass (showed best on the second day), has a concentrated, rich mid-palate, loads of texture, and a heady, lengthy finish. It is gorgeous now, yet will be even better with 3-5 years of bottle age, and drink well for 12-15 years.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (Sep 2012)

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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 familly of Château Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux – should manage its purchase, namely by investing as and where necessary. They have done this without forsaking the historical essence of the domaine, personified here by the longstanding régisseur Bernard Tranchecoste. Domaine des Sénéchaux dates back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest wineries of the region. It spans 26 hectares across Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 23 hectares of which are planted with red varieties, the remainder white. Their main holdings are on the south-westerly slopes of the Bois Sénéchaux, just to the east of the town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here, some of their Grenache vines are as old as 80-90 years old. Production here remains very traditional, and they retain a simple two-wine offering. Largely, grapes are de-stalked and new oak is avoided in favour of concrete, foudres and second-use Bordeaux (Lynch-Bages) barrels.

The team at Sénéchaux are extremely happy with the balance they achieved in the 2020 vintage, with power and volume balanced with freshness. They started their harvest in early September and completed it before the month was out. This was a week earlier than for the ’19 vintage and helped to achieve the freshness and purity we’ve seen consistently through our tastings of the ’20 vintage.

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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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