From: Southern Rhône, France
Blend: 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre
Taste & Critical Acclaim:
JD 96 Jeb Dunnuck
A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre that will spend three years in tank, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Prestige Très Vieilles Vignes is an incredibly classic wine that’s almost overflowing with Provençal charm. Lots of ripe black cherries, peppery garrigue, black licorice, and saddle leather notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, rounded, elegant 2018 that has wonderful purity, silky tannins, and a great finish. I don’t think it has the sheer concentration for decades of longevity, but this beauty is going to drink fabulously on release and over the following 15 years.
Wine Cellar Insider 91 pt
Licorice, flowers, black raspberries and cherries are out in front there. On the nose the wines are soft, elegant medium-bodied, spicy and fresh with a nice shot of peppery kirsch in the finish.
Pairing: Wines like Chateauneuf-du-Pape pair best with barbecued beef ribs, duck, hamburgers, venison stew, mushrooms, oxtail, osso buco, and lamb chops. These red wines from the Rhône Valley are spicy, dense, earthy, and rich; hence, they pair well with meat. Since this wine region produces blended wines from different grapes, they effortlessly complement many dishes like the ones above. In addition, dishes with a Mediterranean flair or that incorporate Mediterranean herbs also pair fantastically well alongside wines like this one.
Paola di Mauro’s Roman Lamb
Recipe from Paola di Mauro
Adapted by Nancy Harmon Jenkins
About. For several generations the Paumel family has farmed grapes in the Rhône Valley. The current patriarch, Jacques Paumel took control of the estate in 1962 from his father, and in 1988 he and his wife Josephine decided to start estate bottling their own wines using the name of the hill on which their ancient provençale farmhouse and many of their vines are situated. Technically semi-retired, Jacques and Josephine have turned over the running of the estate to their daughter Florence and her son Paul Verité.
The Estate is now 25 hectares in size with 3 ha in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the lieu-dits of La Crau, La Guigasse and Saintes Vierges. All are sandy terroirs. The Grenache found in these sites was planted in 1929 or in 1942 while the Mourvedre is a relatively recent addition, having been planted by Jacques in 1967. They have a 1.5 hectare plot of Grenache and Mourvedre, planted on clay limestone soil and located just outside the appellation of Châteauneuf du Pape in the lieu-dit of Clos de Grenadiers. The Grenache dates to 1925 and they are the oldest vines that the family owns. In 1969 Jacques planted Mourvedre and Grenache to supplement these old vines so it now totals 7 hectares. From this site the family makes their Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. In Plan de Dieu they have a newly acquired plot of 70-90 year old Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah grown on gravelly red clay soils. Finally there are 10 hectares of Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan, also on clay limestone soils and quite near the cellars of Mourre du Tendre. These vines are the source of their Côtes-du-Rhône.
Farming at Mourre du Tendre is minimalist and traditional. Everything is done by hand and the family has never used pesticides in their vineyards. The harvest is conducted in several passes and the grapes are carefully sorted when they reach the cellar. The Paumel family makes powerful and traditional wines and the fruit is not destemmed, fermentations occur spontaneously after a short semi-carbonic maceration, and the elevage is quite long – averaging about three years in a combination of concrete tanks and foudre. The resulting wines are charming, bold and structured with much more in common with Barolo and Barbaresco than most anything else you will find in the region. Needless to say they age beautifully and gracefully, even the Côtes-du-Rhône.
Vineyard. The vineyards surround the small hill known locally as Mourre du Tendre, or ‘the hill of love’. They have been farmed by the Paumel family for several generations, and they now focus on old Grenache vines grown on sand. The estate is 25 hectares in size with 3 ha in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the lieu-dits of Le Crau, La Guigasse and Saintes Vierges. The Grenache found in these sites was planted in 1929 or in 1942, while the Mourvedre is a relatively recent addition, planted in 1967. All are sandy terroirs, at altitudes of 250-300 metres.
The 2018 vintage report for the Rhône, by David Roberts MW.
“2018 continues the Rhône’s extraordinary run of fortune with this fourth consecutive high-class vintage.”
“This high quality spans all appellations, somewhat surprising for a region that covers almost 150 miles. No one appellation outperforms the other and, despite a challenging growing season, there are some excellent wines from both the North and South. However, vignerons might lament the 2018 vintage due to the tiny crop it yielded. This small quantity of wine is nevertheless of exceptional quality.
Vintages such as 2018 separate the wheat from the chaff. Location, terroir and careful vineyard management come to the fore. Once again, the most dedicated and talented producers have proven their worth, crafting truly excellent wines.
The essence of all great northern Rhône wines is Syrah, a varietal that thrives in heat and sunshine. 2018 delivered both in abundance and devotees will get great pleasure from this vintage. White wine lovers will find that alcohol levels are trimmed down compared to 2017 so the wines are arguably truer expression of their origins and grape varieties.
In the South, growers made the most of other varieties permitted in their appellations to tone down the natural exuberance and ripeness of Grenache in the final blend. The wines are stylish and approachable but maintain a core that will allow them to age as well as the finest vintages.”
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