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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.
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.
Chateau Maucoil Privilege Chateauneuf du Pape 2016
Bramble, dried Mediterranean herbs and plum jam characterise the evocative nose of this exquisite Chateauneuf du Pape, while the first sip reveals ripe black cherries, bitter chocolate and hints of smokey toast. There are firm tannins and a fine structure along with a full body, decent acidity levels and lusciously smooth mouthfeel. This is a wine that can be cellar aged for at least another ten to fifteen years. It can also be enjoyed now alongside a prime steak, hearty beef stew or venison roasted with herbs.
The venerable Chateau Maucoil has an ancient history which dates back to Roman times who created a base there for Julius Caesar’s army. Many years later, in 1624, the estate was inherited by Joseph de La Pise who initiated winemaking here. Since 1995 Chateau Maucoil has been owned by the Arnaud family who also have a long presence in the region and the estate is currently run by Benedicte and her husband, Charles Bonnet.
Since 2011 the family have tended the estate according to organic agricultural principles and they prefer to use low impact methods like ploughing and furrowing out of respect the natural environment.
Tardieu Laurent Chateauneuf du Pape 2017
Domaine Tardieu Laurent is named after its two founders, up-and-coming young winemaker Michel Tardieu and Dominique Laurent who has built a fantastic reputation for producing exceptional Burgundies. Today the business is one of the Rhone’s top negociants, sourcing young wines from across the region which they blend and mature themselves according to a strict terroir-driven winemaking philosophy.
To ensure the wines they produce are of consistently excellent quality, the negociant only works with small producers who work biodynamically and who have old vines of at least 50 years of age. Tardieu Laurent send the oak barrels they wish to use to the producers and the young wines are transferred to the domaine’s own cellars for maturation and bottling.
The domaine’s Chateauneuf du Pape is typically composed of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah sourced from 20-80 year old vines, with some vintages including small quantities of Cinsault. The young wine is aged in their cellars for 24 months and just 350 cases are produced each year. The result is an elegant but opulent red with intense dark berry notes and hints of bitter chocolate, dried herbs, leather and sweet spice. This would be a fine addition to any cellar or a great choice to enjoy now alongside hearty red meat dishes.