2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Domaine des Sénéchaux

2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Domaine des Sénéchaux

Product: 20168005957
2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Domaine des Sénéchaux

Description

Sénéchaux’s red wine continues to grow in stature. In 2016, for example, 20 percent of stems were maintained in the vat, bolstering the structure beyond the ripe cassis and blueberry that we have come to love here. In addition, there is a really impressive colour but no evidence of over-extraction,itself a qualitative indicator where there is 60 percent of Grenache in the blend. Peppery persuasion informs the finish, which is finely etched and full of promise for a long future. Drink 2019-2023.
Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer
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Critics reviews

Jancis Robinson MW17+/20
Wine Spectator 92/100
Jeb Dunnuck95/100
Josh Raynolds, Vinous93/100
Jancis Robinson MW17+/20

Rich, succulent black fruit – so generous and well-formed, with excellent balance of soft tannin and low acid on the palate, and slight smokiness to finish. Really charming primary fruit marks this out – sheer enjoyment.
Richard Hemmings MW, jancisrobinson.com, November 2017

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Wine Spectator 92/100
Focused and fresh, with a good racy edge to the mix of red and black cherry and raspberry coulis flavors. Black tea, lavender, licorice snap and graphite notes line the finish. Accessible now, but will age nicely in the medium-term. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2032. 6,000 cases made, 500 cases
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, November 2019 Read more
Jeb Dunnuck95/100
As to the red, rocking levels of kirsch, black raspberries, toasted spices, and garrigue emerge from the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It's full-bodied, concentrated, pure and elegant, with sweet tannin, and an opulent, flamboyant style. Based largely on Grenache, with smaller amounts of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it has fine tannin, impeccable balance, and a great finish. Along with the 2010, it’s the finest wine to date from this estate.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, August 2017 Read more
Josh Raynolds, Vinous93/100
Vivid ruby. Powerful red berry preserve, floral pastille and Asian spice aromas show excellent clarity and mineral lift. Intense flavors of raspberry, cherry cola, vanilla and lavender deepen steadily as the wine opens up. The floral and red fruit notes carry strongly through a clinging, energetic finish framed by smooth, slow-building tannins.
Josh Raynolds, vinous.com, December 2019 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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