2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Grenaches de Pierre, Domaine Giraud

2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Grenaches de Pierre, Domaine Giraud

Product: 20128212999
2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Grenaches de Pierre, Domaine Giraud

Description

The soils for these venerable centurion Grenache vines are located on the Crau plateau, which is clay-based, but also in Pignan, which is more sandy. Organic since 2008, Marie and her brother Franois have scored a notable success here; one does not need to employ all thirteen varieties to achieve incredible complexity, it would seem.
Simon Field MW, Rhône Wine Buyer

Marie Giraud is quite business-like these days, and when asked about the vintage, she advises that it has more tension than 2007, less alcohol and concentration than 2010 and ultimately resembles 2009, which also had very small thick-skinned grapes. So there we are. Of course, 2009 was one of her most successful and applauded vintages… thankfully.
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About this WINE

Domaine Giraud

Domaine Giraud

Domaine Giraud is new to our list this year. Having espied an impressive progression over the last three years, we feel that the 2009 has progressed even further. Marie Giraud is the talented winemaker and advice from the larger-than-life consultant Monsieur Philippe Cambie has brought the property to the boil. The biodynamic approach to viticulture was more than a match, it seems, for the intense heat of high summer, when moisture was at a premium.

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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

Wine Advocate95/100

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate95/100
The 2012 Chteauneuf du Pape les Grenaches de Pierre is in the top 5-10 wines in the vintage. Coming from a single plot of sandy soils in La Crau and made from 100% Grenache, it knocks it out of the park with its black raspberry, cassis, lavender, licorice and smoked earth-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and elegant, it has awesome purity, no hard edges and building tannin. Its already hard to resist, but will drink nicely through 2027.
Jeb Dunnuck - 31/10/2014 Read more