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.
With a chilly Nor’easter hitting Boston this week, it’s finally feeling like Fall. We tend to drink according to dinner menu more than season, but there’s no denying the appeal of a rich, cozy wine when the weather outside turns frightful.
The 2017 vintage was an unusual one in the Southern Rhône. Most reds here rely on Grenache for a majority (or at least plurality) of their blend, but in 2017 Grenache vines across the region had a bad Spring flowering, and yields were down dramatically.
The 2017 vintage was an unusual one in the Southern Rhône. Growers encountered coulure in the Grenache vines, as a cold snap after flowering dramatically restricted the development of fruit. Low Grenache yields meant low Grenache percentages in the wines, leaving the stage open for other grapes to shine.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the quintessential winter red wine. Grown under the brilliant Provencal sun, the best examples combine richness and elegance in a way that’s hard to match anywhere in the world.
With June-like temperatures earlier this week we were tempted to break out the rosé and declare summer’s arrival. But experience tells us we’re not done with winter yet. And with colder evenings in mind, we’re suggesting today one of our recent favorites, the 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Christophe Mestre.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is among the world’s great wines. Made famous by French Popes more than seven centuries ago, the area boasts a long winemaking history. Today the small appellation (only about 12 square miles) makes some of the world’s most sought-after wine.