Grenache & Syrah, Chapoutier, Chateauneuf de Pape, France 2010

 image_2318329_full Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of France’s most historic and famous wines. It was named after “the Pope’s new house” when the Papacy relocated to Avignon in the fourteenth century and summer residences were constructed. Its sedimentary soil is covered with large pudding stones (galets) that store heat and aid in the ripening of grapes. The famous Rhône mistral winds are very prominent here and help to provide great concentration in the grapes.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is perfectly suited for low-yielding Grenache plantings, hence the reason Chapoutier works heavily with this varietal. Chapoutier’s La Bernardine is quite unique in that it is made up of only one to three grape varieties when 13 are allowed by AOC law. With this unique approach and the low-yield of his vineyards, Chapoutier produces a rich, flavorful wine with moderate tannins.