Chateauneuf-du-Pape Wine Tasting

Cuvée du Vatican / Château Sixtine

Château Sixtine is a family-run property, where the traces of the DIFFONTY family go back to 1673. Today, after 4 generations, Jean Marc DIFFONTY, son of Félicien DIFFONTY who was the mayor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape during 30 years, works of the maintenance of the family traditions since 1990. Located between Orange and Avignon, in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Château Sixtine extends on 15 hectares. Here, 4 grape varieties dominate: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre for red, and Roussanne for white. Jean Marc DIFFONTY, has given a new boom to the domain, bringing modernity and elegance, to propel Château Sixtine to the rank of the biggest names of the Appellation Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

[row cols_nr=”2″][col size=”3″][/col][col size=”9″]

Château Sixtine White 2017
Région : Rhône Valley
Appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Grapes Varieties : 95% Roussanne – 5% Clairette
Degree : 14,5%
Yields : 32hl/ha
Wine Making : Reasoned culture principles. Traditional hand
picking into small crates. Using a sort table. Direct pressing. Fermentation and Aging in oak barrels, Aging on lees. Regular batonage.
Terroir : Sand and clay, clayish limestone.
Weather conditions: The winter of 2017 was characterized by a very cold January (the coldest in 5 years). The temperatures are then raised, to predict an early harvest. The summer months were very hot. The 2017 vintage is the second warmest in 20 years. The year was relatively dry, the vegetative period will have benefited from only 185 mm of precipitation against 360 mm in normal year. The grape harvests were therefore early, with exceptional health conditions, a particularly mild weather, and a beautiful late-season, which resulted in a little quantitative harvest of excellent quality.
Production : 2800 bottles (75cl).
Food matches : Aperitif, fish, seafood (scallops gratin), norway lobster, white meats, poultry, truffle dishes, asparagus tarts, goats
cheeses.
Ageing : Ageing from 2017 to 2030.

[/col][/row]

 

[row cols_nr=”2″][col size=”6″][/col][col size=”6″]Cuvée du Vatican Red 2016
Région : Rhône Valley.
Appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Grapes varieties : 65% Grenache – 25% Syrah – 10% Mourvèdre
Degrees : 15%
Yields: 32/35hl/ha
Wine making : Reasoned culture principles. Traditional hand picking into
small crates. Using a sort table. Destemming. Fermentation in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. Classic winemaking. Aging in tanks and oak
barrels, light filtration.
Terroir : Sand and clay, clayish limestone, clayish limestone with rounded
pebbles.
Weather conditions : The winter of 2016 was mild, followed by a dry
spring and quite cool, the vineyard had to face a warmer summer
with several days when temperatures exceeded 35°C, including in
the month of September. A hot summer but not scorching heat, characterized at the veraison by thermal amplitudes between the day
and the night favorable. Ideal weather, the summer season was dry,
but the fine rains of September allowed the grapes to reach full
maturity.
Production : 30 000 bottles (75cl).
Food matches : Red meats, game, poultry, navarin of lamb, Mediterranean cooking.
Aging : Ageing from 2018 to 2033[/col][/row][row cols_nr=”2″][col size=”6″][/col][col size=”6″]Château Sixtine Red 2017
Région: Rhône Valley
Appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Grapes varieties: 50% Grenache – 30% Syrah – 20% Mourvèdre
Degree: 15,5%
Yields: 23hl/ha
Wine making: Reasoned culture principles. Traditional hand picking into
small crates. Using a sort table. Destemming. Fermentation in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. Classic winemaking with punching and delestage. Aging in tanks and oak barrels, light filtration.
Terroir: Sand and clay, clayish limestone, clayish limestone with rounded
pebbles.
Weather conditions: The winter of 2017 was characterized by a very
cold January (the coldest in 5 years). The temperatures are then
raised, to predict an early harvest. The summer months were very
hot. The 2017 vintage is the second warmest in 20 years. The year
was relatively dry, the vegetative period will have benefited from
only 185 mm of precipitation against 360 mm in normal year. The
grape harvests were therefore early, with exceptional health conditions, a particularly mild weather, and a beautiful late-season, which
resulted in a little quantitative harvest of excellent quality.
Production: 29 600 bottles (75cl). 514 magnums (1,5L)
Food matches: Red meats, game, poultry, navarin of lamb, Mediterranean cooking.
Aging: Ageing from 2018 to 2035[/col][/row]

 

[row cols_nr=”2″][col size=”6″]

Content

[/col][col size=”6″]

Content

[/col][/row]

Château de Vaudieu

[row cols_nr=”2″][col size=”6″][/col][col size=”6″]

2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Val de Dieu is 64% Grenache, 28% Syrah, and 8% Mourvèdre.

AGE OF VINES40-70SOILSandy sandstone, sandy limestone, sandy clayALTITUDE100-110 metersFERMENTATIONHand harvested, destemmed, fermented in tronconic concrete tanks, 30 day maceration with delestage, remontage or pigeageAGING18 months in French oak barrel, 600L demi-muids (Grenache) and 228L barriques (Mourvedre & Syrah)[/col][/row]

Château La Nerthe

Château de la Gardine

Domaine la Boutinière

Domaine Pierre Usseglio

Chateauneuf-du-Pape White Wine Selection

NOTES

I did not take note of the vintner of the wine bottle that you ordered at Brooklyn Fare. Alyssa and I (who had a wine pairing) and you really liked that one. Brooklyn Fare does not publish their wine list, so I called. Running through our phone numbers, it was Alyssa who made the reservation. Looking at the bill, the wine was “Château de Tour.” I found “Château des Tours” (just the plural) (http://chateaurayas.fr/domainedestours.htm), which is very close to Châteauneuf du Pape, and offers a white, but the terroir is listed at a « Cotes-du-Rhone, not a Châteauneuf du Pape. The white offering of a sister winery (see website in French), Château Rayas, IS labelled as Châteauneuf du Pape. I’m thinking that this is your baby. Digging a little deeper on the website, the US distributor is located down the road from you, in Novato. I called them and ask for a retail outlet. They said that they do not get much Château Rayas, but will look around and email me. (“Did I have a particular vintage in mind?”) Possibly we can locate and try a white CNP from Château Rayas in the near term. /// Here’s what I got back “This is the only local account that has purchased Chateau Rayas whites in the past. I would also look on winesearcher.com. Porthos 4326 Redwood Hwy #300 San Rafael Sorry I wasn’t much help but as I said we really don’t get much of this wine. Good luck.” Sounds like a second-tier distributor to me. Boy, winesearcher.com sure has some stupidly priced wines. What end users buy at those prices? /// Translated French language comments at Google had me thinking that there must be a Château des Tours “reception” that is very warm and hearty, i.e., there must be a visit/ possible tasting deal available. But there’s not exactly a warm feeling here: https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2014/10/10-things-every-wine-lover-should-know-about-chateau-rayas. Château Rayas phone is: +33(0)4 90 83 73 09. Maybe the personal tour person(s) will have special insight for us.

WOW! Look at this cool map I found along the way: http://www.europeancellars.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/ChateauneufDuPape300dpi.jpg. I want a detailed print out. I’ll work on that.

I bought you three at Total Wine several weeks back, and requested that you take notes on the good and the meh. You reported that one was austere, i.e. not the kind of wine we like, but I don’t recall you sharing the name. I just made a special trip back to that store to see the names. I can’t confirm that these three are the ones that I bought for you, but last night they were selling:

· Domaine de la Presidente;

· Clos Saint Michel; and

· Domaine la Millière.

The sommelier at Providence made these suggestions:

· Beau Castel;

· La Nerthe;

· Vieux Télégraphe; and

· Clos du pape (but only for older vintages).

Some weeks back, you shared the results of some web surfing that you had done. The vintners (and URLs that you provided) were:

· Chateau La Nerthe (https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/rhone-wines-cote-rotie-hermitage-chateauneuf-du-pape/chateauneuf-du-pape-wine-producer-profiles/chateau-la-nerthe-chateauneuf-du-pape-rhone-wine/);

· Famille Brechet (http://www.famillebrechet.com/rhone-valley-wine-chateauneuf-du-pape-wine-tourism); and

· Château Fortia (https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/rhone-wines-cote-rotie-hermitage-chateauneuf-du-pape/chateauneuf-du-pape-wine-producer-profiles/chateau-fortia-chateauneuf-du-pape-rhone-wine/).

Very interesting, we (and the Providence sommelier) believed that white CNPs were chardonnay. Not so, according to the websites that you found. The white CNPs are blends, with Grenache Blanc and Roussane predominating; Clairette predominates in the Chateau Fortia white CNP offering.