Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2006 and 2009· Written Wine Reviews
Jun 19th, 2013 | By Jayson Bryant | Category: Written Wine Reviews
It’s not long till I venture to this part of the world again, it’s less than 2 weeks. I thought that I better brush up on my French, both Palate and appraisal. It’s such a beautiful part of the world no matter what time of year.
The name alone conjures up times gone by. The name is derived from ‘New Chateau of the Pope’, where for seventy years during the Avignon papacy it promoted wine.
There are 13 different grape varieties permitted in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. These grapes include Grenache, Cinsault, Counoise, Mourvèdre, Muscardin, Syrah, Terret noir, and Vaccarèse. White grapes include Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc,Clairette, Picardan, Roussanne, and Picpoul. Most of the red wines mainly consist of Grenache and Syrah.
Since Robert Parker started paying attention to this part of France some of the wines have become big and overblown. There are still a few sticking with traditional values of the region, but many are chasing the dream of the 100 point wine.
Chateau La Nerthe 2006
Less talked about wines than the 2007, but for some, and that includes me, they’re more elegant. It appeared shy in the glass with restrained aromas, that was until it started opening up after 3 hours of decanting. Bright red and black fruit in a savoury melange and definite herb influence on the nose after a while in the glass.
The palate is balanced, with good full flavour. The strawberry from the Grenache wraps around the more broody Autumnal fruit, that itself wraps around the savoury elements. Although the wine is 14.5% it doesn’t throw it out of balance. It’s still quite a formidable wine, just less than the 2007.
Vieux Télégraphe 2009
One of the true classics of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This vineyard and winery has been in the same family since 1898. The vineyard ‘La Crau’ is at one of the highest points in between Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Bédarrides. The elevation of this terrain had prompted the construction of a communication tower in the late 18th century to transmit telegraph messages between Marseilles and Paris. Otherwise, the allure of this barren landscape is not immediately discernable—there is nothing but galets roulés, or rounded stones, as far as the eye can see.
Everything about 2009 made this wine what it is today. The weather perfect with rain at the right time, wind to see off disease and clod to trap the acids. The berries were small, but perfectly formed. All of this is translated through he wine. Rich, dar and succulent fruit is perfectly balanced among wild garrigue and savoury aspects.
The aromas are seductive and immediately present. The rich fruit on the palate is to die for. The whole wine from opening to finishing was a pleasure.
All in all, I’m really looking forward to visiting this July.