Appellation Article

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Last edited on 12/31/2013 by Jeff Leve
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Châteauneuf-du-Pape Appellation - Read more about Chateauneuf du Pape

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"As I have written many times in the past, the sweet spot for drinking Châteauneuf du Papes is usually the first 5-6 years after the vintage. Then they seem to go through an adolescent, awkward, and sometimes dormant stage, only to re-emerge around year 10-12, where the majority of wines are often fully mature. The best of them will continue to hold on to life (but rarely improving) beyond 15-20 years. It is only the exceptional Châteauneuf du Papes that will evolve for 20-25+ years, and those are indeed a rarity. However, things may be improving dramatically in terms of the longevity of Châteauneuf du Pape, although Grenache-dominated wines, the vast majority of wines produced in the appellation, are wines that do not have the polyphenol (extract and tannin) content of top Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, or Syrah-based wines. Nevertheless, the younger generation in Châteauneuf du Pape has taken seriously the farming in the vineyards. There are more organic and biodynamically run vineyards here than in any other appellation of France. The yields, which were already low, are even lower today (20-35 hectoliters per hectare), and of course, the proliferation of top luxury and/or old-vine cuvées gives a significant boost to the number of wines that will evolve past 25 or 30 years. The advantage of these wines is their broad window of drinkability." ( Robert Parker )
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