In our portfolio filled with brilliant, committed and passionate winemakers, there is none more so than Jacqueline André of the Domaine Pierre André in Châteauneuf du Pape. Her family has been a pioneer in organic viticulture, beginning with a grandfather who decided in 1963 that chemicals were bad for vines and gave them up entirely (just as most others were dialing up treatments).
As a result, she farms some vines that are more than 140 years old. Those vines’ roots reach profoundly deep — back in time, you might say — channeling an enormous range of minerals into a precious few bunches of grapes. And in the hands of meticulous craftswoman such as Jacqueline, they become truly magnificent wine, at once deep and soaring.
André pours her entire soul into just two wines (one white, one red), and the resulting cuvée is among the most special wines in our cellar. The 2019 is a triumph: There are delicious dark fruits of blackberry and cassis. The wine is dense and rich, with good structure and lots of intensity – “construit” (“built”) she called it. There is excellent complexity too — tiny notes of anise, lavender, thyme, raspberries and more.
More than perhaps any other in our portfolio, this wine embodies the term “layers.” And as always, though it is rich, the wine has plenty of freshness. We love watching this wine age and have yet to have a tired bottle, but this one should be delightful young as well, particularly enjoyed from a decanter. If possible, enjoy it outside in a big glass after a 3-hour decant — it will come alive with the spirit of the nature from which it springs.
André Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2019
bottle price: $59