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Mordoree Chateauneuf du Pape La Reine des Bois 2017
Founded by Christophe and Fabrice Delorme in 1986, over the years the Mordoree estate has flourished to become one of the most dynamic and consistent producers of quality wines in the southern Rhone Valley. The estate’s 55 hectares of vineyards cover a range of appellations, microclimates, and soil conditions, allowing the Delorme family to craft a diverse portfolio which captures the essence of the region.
The estate produces several red Chateauneuf du Pape wines with the La Reine des Bois considered the iconic wine of Mordoree. The blend includes Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Syrah and Vaccarese grapes which are sourced from the well-sited La Clau vineyard which boasts an average vine age of 60 years.
On arrival at the winery the grapes are fully destemmed and vinified with the young wine subsequently aged in a combination of French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. Over the years the amount of oak has decreased in recognition of the intense richness of the wine which needs only a small touch of oak to bring out its true character. The result is a remarkably concentrated and generous Chateauneuf du Pape which bursts with deep dark berry, licorice, dried herb, and earthy notes which linger long on the palate.
Jean-Luc Colombo Les Bartavelles Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 2018
Jean-Luc Colombo is nicknamed the “Winemaking Wizard of the Rhône” for his visionary work in the region and his unique collection of wines crafted from top vineyard sites across the valley. Jean-Luc and his wife Anne purchased their first Rhône vineyard in Cornas in 1986 and since then the couple have become leaders in the region for their commitment to innovation and quality.
Jean-Luc’s winemaking philosophy focuses on emphasising freshness and fruit in addition to power and ageing potential. He achieves this through techniques like destemming and restricting oak influence in the winery. His Les Bartavelles Chateauneuf-du-Pape is an exceptional example of Jean-Luc’s style, combining hints of rich blueberries, cassis and red plum with sweet spices, dried herbs, and a balancing freshness.
This classic Chateauneuf-du-Pape is named after the small rock partridge that is commonly found in the region. Composed of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, the young wine is partly matured in large oak barrels for 16 months to add complexity while retaining freshness and varietal purity. The result is a well-rounded, bold red wine with firm tannins and the ability to age and develop over at least the next decade.
Vieille Julienne Chateauneuf du Pape les Trois Sources 2013
The Les Trois Sources Chateauneuf Du Pape is made from two vineyards in the northern sector of the appellation, using 70% Grenache and a combination of Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise, and Cinsault for the other 30%. All planted to sandy, well drained soils, the vines for this wine range in age from 80 to over 100 years old. Offering aromas of licorice, lavender, and cooked plum, the Les Trois Sources is a massive wine, full bodied in the best way. Spicy garrigue herbs and black cherry on the palate give way to black pepper, charcoal, and fig jam. Still quite early in its life, this wine will only continue to get better with age.
Garrigue is the name for the wild herbs found in many areas of the Southern Rhone, and scents of those herbs are commonly found in the wine from the region. Pairing with food, therefore, can be done with those herbs in mind. Using Provencal herbs in its place, herbed and roasted lamb or pork shoulder would pair exceptionally well. A rich cassoulet would also be delicious, sprinkled with fresh herbs prior to serving.
Hand-picked grapes, zero chemical use in the vineyard, fermenting with native yeasts, and little to no addition in the cellar make Jean-Paul Daumen a natural wine aficionado. His family estate has been growing and crafting biodynamic and organic wine since the 1990’s, and his vision and philosophy show in the richness, power, and complexity of his wines made from extraordinarily old Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise, and Cinsault vines.
Jean Paul Daumen Chateauneuf du Pape 2014
One of the most passionate and diligent winemakers in the Rhone Valley, Jean-Paul Daumen crafts limited quantities of award-winning wines from his family’s 10 hectares in the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation and 5 hectares in Cotes du Rhone. His family first purchased the property in 1905 and initially sold their wines to negociants until the 1960s when his father decided to start bottling their wines himself.
Jean-Paul took over the running of the estate in 1990 and began to work the vines in accordance with organic and biodynamic agricultural practices. He harvests his century-old vines by hand and prefers to use wild yeasts and neutral oak barrels for the maturation process. He has also decided not to use the traditional Châteauneuf du Pape symbols on his bottles to express this new direction.
Crafted from predominantly Grenache along with smaller amounts of Syrah, Cinsault, Counoise, and Mourvedre, this stunning Châteauneuf du Pape is aged in large oak barrels for one year. The result is a full bodied red that exudes both elegance and power with a ripe dark berry character accented by subtle sweet spices, dried Mediterranean herbs and licorice.
Domaine Roger Perrin Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Vieilles Vignes 2013
Domaine Perrin is a boutique family-run winery which was founded in 1972 by Roger Perrin who began bottling and selling his own wines after taking over the estate from his winemaker father-in-law, Paul Bravay. Today Roger’s daughter, enologist Veronique Perrin-Rolin, and her son Xavier take care of the estate with a view to handing it over to future generations of the family when the time is right. Despite its recent foundation, Domaine Perrin boasts several parcels which were planted in the early twentieth century and is blessed with some vines which are over a century old.
These ancient vines are the source of the grapes used for this wine and help create a generous, full-bodied red which is bursting with complex layers of ripe dark fruit, sweet spices, leather, and hints of Mediterranean herbs. Predominantly crafted from Grenache grapes which give a rich, opulent character to the wine and a silky smooth texture, the young wine is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months to fully integrate the different components of the blend.
The bold flavour profile of this wine makes it an ideal match for pheasant, quail and partridge dishes or, if you prefer to keep things simple, a juicy ribeye steak.
Lavau Chateauneuf du Pape 2013
Lavau’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape is an excellent full bodied and well-structured example of the region that shows black plum, bing cherry, and spiced fruitcake aromas. A fruit driven but refreshing palate has notes of lingonberry, dried earth, smoky cedar, and cloves, with fine grained tannins that lead to a long, herbal tinged finish with mouthwatering acidity.
Gamebirds such as duck, pheasant, or quail would be excellent paired with this wine. Beef stroganoff, creamy mushroom pasta, or boar steak over rice pilaf would also be delicious.
A family owned and run company, Lavau has roots in wine going back to the mid-19th century, with the family living in St. Emilion in Bordeaux. After moving to Tunisia to start a wine business there, and then back again once Tunisia gained its independence, the family opened their eponymous negociant firm in the Rhone in 1965. Over the years they have bought over 180 hectares of land, with several different wine estates, and have long standing relationships with 350-plus winegrowers, which allows them to craft excellent quality wines at affordable prices across their various labels.
This Lavau Chateauneuf-du-Pape macerates for 30 days during fermentation, after which 50% sees 12 months in 1-2 years old 450L oak barrels, while the other 50% is aged in concrete vats.