2014 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Spéciale Vieilles Clairettes, Dom St Préfert

2014 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Spéciale Vieilles Clairettes, Dom St Préfert

Product: 20141378854
2014 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Spéciale Vieilles Clairettes, Dom St Préfert

Description

The 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes de Clairette Blanc offers terrific notes of lemon peel, orange blossom, honey and hints of caramelized peaches to go with a full, fleshy, textured style on the palate. Possessing moderate acidity and a big finish, there’s only 600 magnums produced.
Jeb Dunnuck - The Wine Advocate #221, Oct 2015
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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate91-94/100
Wine Advocate91-94/100
The 2014 Chteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes de Clairette Blanc offers terrific notes of lemon peel, orange blossom, honey and hints of caramelized peaches to go with a full, fleshy, textured style on the palate. Possessing moderate acidity and a big finish, theres only 600 magnums produced.
Jeb Dunnuck - 30/10/2015 Read more

About this WINE

Domaine Saint Prefert

Domaine Saint Prefert

Domaine St Préfert is yet another Châteauneuf-du-Pape A-lister on our ever-expanding Rhône wine range. Isabel Ferrando’s vines are mainly located in the southern sector; her modus operandus is fairly traditional with no destemming, cement tank maturation and a taste for déléstage. Her outlook and temperament, however, fall into the more modern camp, as manifested by the multiplicity of differing ‘cuvées’, all, thankfully pleasingly different from each other.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Classique comes from (relatively) younger vines and is a blend of 85% Grenache and 5% each of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. It is a charming showcase for Grenache at is most bounteous; Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Reserve Auguste Favier is a charming blend of Grenache and 15% Cinsault. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape cuvée Giraud includes 38% of Mourvèdre that adds dark-fruit power and spicy, savoury tannins.

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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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White Rhône Blend

White Rhône Blend

With the exception of the wines from Condrieu and Château-Grillet virtually all Rhône Valley whites are made from blends.

In the north, the white wines of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, and St-Péray are produced from blends of Marsanne and Roussanne. Generally Marsanne is the dominant partner and it lends colour, body and weight to the blend, as well as richly scented fruit. Roussanne, a notoriously low yielder and pernickety to grow, produces intensely aromatic wines which contribute bouquet, delicacy and finesse to the blend.

Until about 15 years ago there was very little interest in southern Rhône whites as it was widely believed that the combination of dull non aromatic grapes and the baking summer heat meant quality wine production was nigh impossible. Since then the quality has improved markedly through the introduction of cool fermentation techniques and increased plantings of northern Rhône white grapes.

The base of many blends is still Grenache Blanc, a widely planted variety producing fresh wines with apple-like fruits, often with hints of aniseed. Ugni Blanc is still found in many blends, as is Clairette though their general lack of character and definition has led to a reduction in plantings. The future for southern Rhône whites appears to lie with Roussanne, Marsanne, and, increasingly, Viognier.

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