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Châteauneuf-du-Pape: 91-97 Points WS, WA

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape (CdP) is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in the southern Rhône wine region. With 8,000+ acres under vine, it is the largest appellation in the Rhône, producing mainly two wines, a red CdP (>90% of production) and a white CdP.

Of the eight red varietals planted, Grenache is the dominant variety followed by Syrah and Mourvèdre, while the most important white varietals include Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne.

The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout CdP and serve two purposes. First, they are able to absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. Next, they help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun. CdP vineyards are typically farmed organically or biodynamically, and the region's abundant sunshine and frequent wind help minimize the use of herbicides or pesticides.

Galet covered CdP vineyards

Here's an interesting story about CdP: Before wine critic Robert Parker discovered CdP it was considered a rather old-fashioned wine; something that dad or granddad drank. However Parker's influence increased the coverage and following of CdP wines many fold and in gratitude, the CdP Winemakers Union pushed for his becoming an honorary citizen of the village.

Whether the story is true or not, a new wave of ambitious winemakers from the region has led to high quality high value wines. We have some of the best CdPs in stock - rated 91-97 points! from Wine Spectator or Wine Advocate.

Philippine de St.-Cyrille Chateauneuf-du-Pape Grande Reserve 2011 - $21.95
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre | 91 points, Wine Spectator

Domaine Giuliani Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010 - $31.95
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre | 91 points, Wine Spectator

Domaine du Pere Pape Chateauneuf du Pape Clos du Calvaire 2010 - $29.95
Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault | 91-93 points, Wine Advocate

Perrin & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards 2010 - $38.95
Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah | 93 points, Wine Spectator

M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac 2009 - $139.95

100% Grenache | 96 points, Wine Advocate | 95 points, Wine Spectator

Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf du Pape Boisrenard 2010 - $69.90
Grenache | 97 points, Wine Spectator

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