Lush, Mouthfilling, Affordable Châteauneuf du Pape

The Mestre family’s cuvée continues to outperform its pricetag.

We arrived yesterday in the Southern Rhône, where it’s beautiful — dry, mid-60s and sunny with that clear provencal blue sky. As usual, we began our tastings with Christophe Mestre, whose domaine is in the heart of the town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Mestre and his wife are from old Châteauneuf du Pape families, and their vines are in plots scattered across the town’s remarkably diverse terroir – galets roulés, sand, and clay-limestone.

The Mestres are traditionalists, making a single red cuvée from all their terroirs, seeking an expression of the appellation as a whole. The 2020 is terrific (look for it in May Futures), but in the meantime we’re suggesting the excellent 2019 that’s back home. Mestre tasted us through eight vintages of his single red, and the 2019 stood out for its intensity and concentratino.

Mestre’s 2019 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is intense and powerful, and a ready candidate for back of the cellar. It’s a blend of 50% grenache, 25% mourvèdre, 20% syrah, and 5% cinsault. The nose explodes with ripe strawberry fruit and a pleasant cool earthiness. The Wine Advocate’s reviewer gave 92 points, finding it “full-bodied and supple, with a long, harmonious finish.”

Despite a blistering hot year, Christophe managed to build tannins behind the fruit beautifully, and this wine is well defined and not the least bit flabby. The mouth is rich and ripe, with remarkable intensity and length for its price — plenty of support for the lush, dripping fruit. A real bargain for the vintage and town.


Mestre Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2019
bottle price: $35

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