2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Font de Courtedune

2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Font de Courtedune

Product: 20168202835
2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Font de Courtedune

Description

A standout in my blind tastings, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape comes from a domaine heretofore unreviewed by this publication. Fermented and aged solely in concrete vats, it's essentially Grenache (there's 1% of other varieties mixed in) from sandy sites in some prestigious lieux-dits: La Crau, Le Cristia, La Guigasse, Le Pointu and Saint Georges. Subtle hints of cinnamon, clove and leather accent cherry fruit in this full-bodied, expansive, velvety wine. It's mouth coating and long on the finish, picking up lingering notes of garrigue and dried spices. Based on this effort, the brother-sister team of Frdric and Caroline Charrier will be worthy of a second look when I'm next in the region.
Joe Czerwinski - 31/08/2018

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About this WINE

Domaine Font du Courtedune

Domaine Font du Courtedune

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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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Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.

In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.

Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.

 

Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate94/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate94/100
A standout in my blind tastings, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape comes from a domaine heretofore unreviewed by this publication. Fermented and aged solely in concrete vats, it's essentially Grenache (there's 1% of other varieties mixed in) from sandy sites in some prestigious lieux-dits: La Crau, Le Cristia, La Guigasse, Le Pointu and Saint Georges. Subtle hints of cinnamon, clove and leather accent cherry fruit in this full-bodied, expansive, velvety wine. It's mouth coating and long on the finish, picking up lingering notes of garrigue and dried spices. Based on this effort, the brother-sister team of Frdric and Caroline Charrier will be worthy of a second look when I'm next in the region.
Joe Czerwinski - 31/08/2018 Read more