Chateauneuf du Pape

Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines are produced around the village of the same name in the Rhone wine region between the cities of Avignon and Orange in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Provence. Roughly translated as "The Pope's new castle," Chateauneuf-du-Pape's history is firmly entwined with papal history for, in 1308, Pope Clement V, the former Archbishop of Bordeaux, relocated the papacy to the town of Avignon 

While Chateauneuf-du-Pape exists as red and white wine, the large majority of the wines produced are red. [Only one of every 16 bottles of Chateauneuf-du-Pape produced in the region is a white wine, and rose wines are not allowed to be made under the Chateauneuf-du-Pape aegis.] The wines traditionally have been packaged in distinctive, heavy dark wine bottles embossed with papal regalia and insignia; in recent times, however, a number of producers have dropped the full papal seal in favor of a more generic icon, while still retaining the same heavy glassware., 

Chateauneuf-du-Pape may be made from a blend of 13 different varietals, though Grenache Noir is the most common varietal. Other permitted varietals include Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Counoise. Grenache produces a sweet juice that can have almost a jam-like consistency, while Syrah is typically blended to provide color and spice and Mourvedre can add elegance and structure to the wine. The only estate to grow all 13 varietals and use them consistently in a blend is Chateau de Beaucastel. 

Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines are often described as earthy, with gamey flavors that have hints of tar and leather. The wines are considered tough, harsh, powerful and tannic in their youth but maintain their rich spiciness as they age. The wines often exhibit aromas of dried herbs common in Provence under the name of garrigue. Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines dominated by Mourvedre tend to be higher in tannin and require longer cellaring before being approachable. 

In white Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne provide fruitiness and fatness to the blend, while Clairette, Bourboulenc and Picpoul add acidity, floral and mineral notes. The style of these white wines range from lean and minerally to oily and rich with a variety of aromas and flavor notes, including almond, star fruit, anise, fennel, honeysuckle and peach. For the most part, white Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines are made to be drunk young.