Christophe Mestre and his wife are from old Châteauneuf-du-Pape families. Like many such families, they own a number of parcels scattered across the town’s remarkably diverse terroir. About a third is among the famous galets roulés, (pictured above). Another third is in alluvial sandy soils, and the rest is spread among red and brown soils rich in pebbles and calcium.
Combine these diverse soils with no fewer than 15 grape varieties approved for the appellation, and it is easy to see how the wine of each domaine has its own distinct character. Mestre’s style is fruit-forward and approachable, and the bottle of 2018 we opened for warehouse visitors last week was already delicious.
Christophe Mestre makes a single red Châteauneuf du Pape each year, vinfiying the different grapes separately and carefully combining them to come up with each year’s vintage. We have been buying there for five years now, and have watched him consistently craft delicious wine from the varied elements each vintage offers.
The 2018 rouge is 40% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, and 5% Cinsault, and it’s truly delicious. There is plum, licorice, and maybe a touch of chocolate in the nose. In the mouth, the wine is rich and round, with plenty of support and no feeling of heat. The finish is long and velvety. Robert Parker’s reviewer found “plummy fruit and hints of espresso,” calling it “supple and easy-drinking.”
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is not typically a source of value or precocity: today’s delicious bottle offers both. (Also available in magnum.)
Mestre Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2018
bottle price: $35
Mestre Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2018 (1.5L)
bottle price: $72
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