2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Domaine des Saumades, Rhône

2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Domaine des Saumades, Rhône

Product: 20201176421
Prices start from £35.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Domaine des Saumades, Rhône

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Description

Made from 50% Grenache Blanc, 25% Clairette and 25% Bourboulenc, the 2020 Saumades Blanc has a beautiful, floral nose that is wonderfully elegant and mineral. Notes of yellow apples blend with cleansing, gentle flavours of white stone fruit yet the wine is precise and subtle, not rich at all. Savoury hints of toast come through whilst a pebble-stone minerality endures on the long, refreshing finish. Drink 2024-2032.

Catriona Felstead MW, Senior Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (Mar 2022)

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About this WINE

Domaine Des Saumades

Domaine Des Saumades

Four generations of Moussets have been winemakers in Châteauneuf du Pape. However, Domaine des Saumades was created in 1995 when Frank and Muriel Mousset created their own domaine. This is a very small domaine with only 2.5 hectares and limited production allowing for excellent quality control. It employs traditional methods for pruning and working the vines and all wines are aged in oak.

Franck and Murielle are a young couple making a modern style Châteauneuf du Pape. Their wines are powerful and fruit driven, with the ability to develop into graceful examples from this region. The red is a 100% Grenache, and demonstrates the potential power of this grape when handled skilfully. It is a wine of extraordinary complexity, packed full of seductive dark fruits and rich chocolate notes. The white, a mélange of Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Bourboulenc, displays a myriad of flavours as diverse as fresh citrus tones to mouth filling warm vanilla. This is what Châteauneuf du Pape is all about.

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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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