Smooth, Velvety, Wintertime Châteauneuf. $35

A cozy, affordable Châteauneuf for inclement weather.

With winter weather here for the foreseeable future, we’re pleased to be well stocked on rich Southern Rhône reds. We have plenty of ideas from Séguret and Gigondas, but sometimes the most obvious answer is also the best. With that in mind we’re suggesting Châteauneuf-du-Pape today: the vinous equivalent of comfort food.

At their best these are rich, smooth wines that are inky, mouthfilling, concentrated and deep. Much of the wine from Châteauneuf is built for cellaring, but Christophe Mestre’s small production cuvée requires no patience. Rich, smooth, mouthfilling Châteauneuf to be enjoyed in its youth.

Fans of the appellation used to paying well over $50 for bigger names should take note — this is intense, velvety Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a remarkably low price tag. The nose is explosive, with a wide range of notes from violets and pan drippings to strawberry jam and lavender. The mouth is smooth and soft and rich, with a dark red complexion and silky tannins. Critic Jeb Dunnuck awarded 90-92 points, finding it “medium bodied, nicely textured, and with ample character.”

Sometimes all you want for dinner is mac and cheese or chicken soup or an omelet. And sometimes all you need in your glass is a comforting, cozy Châteauneuf.


Mestre Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2018
bottle price: $35

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