WorldWine Tasting Report

2012-03-01

Châteauneuf in red & white

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No, we definitely did not have easy going weeks. After the "alcohol bombs" called Amarone which we were to taste in Verona and back in Hamburg, at the end of January, we had also applied for red and white samples of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This was no "light" tasting either. The alcohol content of these wines was not as high as the Amarone's with their up to 17 or 18 degrees, but 15 or 16 degrees were quite common nonetheless.

Yet, in spite of these alcohol levels many of the wines from the southern Rhône were far from beeing clumsy or burning, many of them even left a downright elegant and vivid impression on the palate. Which once more proves that wine quality is never a question of single, isolated parameters (alcohol, acidity, residual sugar) but of balance and harmony between the single taste components.

Whilst in former tastings the whites from Châteauneuf had very much convinced us with their spicyness and aromatic depth, this time our verdict was much more in favour of the red wines: Only one of our 20 top scorers was a white Châteauneuf.

Originally we had asked the Fédération des Syndicats des Producteurs de Châteauneuf-du-Pape to submit samples of their members, but we had to acknowledge that many are not members in that association. We therefore asked more winemakers to submit their wines directly and were happy that many of them followed our request.

So, in the end, we were able to taste about 100 wines of 45 different companies, which allowed us to get a good overview of the 2009 (red) and 2010 (whites, with some 2009 samples) vintages. Two of them, the 2009 reds La Reine des Bois of Domaine de la Mordorée and Chaupin of Domaine de la Janasse, even came close to a "dreamwine" rating.

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ENO WorldWine's 20 top scorers

***** +De la Mordorée (Tavel) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois 2009
 
***** +De la Janasse - EARL Aimé Sabon (Courthézon) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chaupin 2009
 
*****Alain Jaume & fils - Du Grand Veneur (Orange) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2009
 
*****Alain Jaume & fils - Du Grand Veneur (Orange) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009
 
*****Paillère et Pied-gu (Gigondas) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Bertrand Stehelin 2009
 
*****La Nerthe (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Cadettes 1995
 
*****Roger Sabon (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Prestige 2009
 
*****Roger Sabon (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets 2009
 
*****De la Solitude - J. et M. Lancon (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve Secrète 2009
 
*****Alain Jaume & fils - Du Grand Veneur (Orange) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines 2009
 
*****Marcoux (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2009
 
*****Pouizin-Vacheron - Clos du Caillou (Courthézon) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve 2009
 
*****De la Janasse - EARL Aimé Sabon (Courthézon) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009
 
*****Pierre Usseglio & fils (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009
 
*****Mousset-Barrot (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château Jas de Bressy 2009
 
*****Louis Mousset - Les Fines Roches (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009
 
*****De la Côte de l'Ange (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009
 
*****Pouizin-Vacheron - Clos du Caillou (Courthézon) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Quartz 2009
 
*****Des Sénéchaux - J. M. Cazes Sélection (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc 2009
 
***** ?Château Mont-Redon (Châteauneuf-Du-Pape) - Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2008

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