Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vin de la Solitude 2018 Wooden Case of 3 Bottles (6307)

Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vin de la Solitude 2018 Wooden Case of 3 Bottles (6307)

France - Rhone - Southern Rhone - Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Rhone Blend

Back in 2016 a discussion between Florent Lancon, of Domaine de la Solitude, and the French wine critic Michael Bettane was the catalyst for an incredible wine cuvee.

Domaine de la Solitude is one of the oldest estates in Chateauneuf du Pape, tracing its history back to the 13th century with no less than a Pope in the family tree! It has been run by the Lancon family for many decades and was one of the first domaines to estate-bottle.

The idea was to produce a wine as a tribute to their ancestor Paul Martin, who was one of the first French vignerons to sell his wine in bottle in the 18th century under the name "Vin de la Solitude".
Records at the domaine showed that blends at that time were very different. Whilst Grenache is the workhorse of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the 21st century, hundreds of years ago, things were very different.

Florent modeled the new wine on the old blend of 30% Counoise, 25% hundred year-old Grenache noir, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, 5% Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc, 5% Roussanne, Clairette rose and Grenache blanc. Two things are immediately obvious - the wine contains a huge amount of the rare Counoise grape (less than 0.5% of Chateauneuf is planted to this variety)  and quite a portion of white grapes, still allowed in Chateauneuf but only used by a few producers. 

Counoise is a dark-skinned grape that does not produce a lot of colour or tannin. It is used by domaines, including Chateau Beaucastel, to add spiciness and acidity. The presence of white grapes add a lightness and freshness.

All grapes were co-fermented and vinified as whole clusters (as an aside Florent has a great interest in Burgundy winemaking techniques). The wine was vinified in tronconic wood vats. Each grape variety was harvested at its own maturity, the first variety being the Syrah, picked in early September, and the last being the Counoise, picked in early October. The alcoholic fermentation was very long. For this new cuvee the wine was macerated for 80 days and aged for 18 months in old barrels.

Special AUD$391.50

Professional Reviews

Jeb Dunnuck

Based on just about every variety permitted (some white varieties as well), the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Le Vin De La Solitude is inspired by the writings of Major Ducos, who was a prior owner of Château de la Nerthe. The grapes were all harvest at separate times yet added to the same tank, resulting in very long alcoholic fermentation (1 month) and a total maceration time of 80 days. This singular beauty sports a medium ruby hue to go with an incredibly exotic bouquet of red currants, framboise, mulled strawberries, white flowers, cedary garrigue, and classy leather. This all carries to a medium to full-bodied red that has beautiful overall balanced, silky tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It’s a singular, gorgeously complex wine that tastes like a Grand Cru Burgundy made in the South of France.


Wine Advocate - Joe Czerwinski

Completely undestemmed, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Vin de la Solitude is a cofermented assemblage of 30% Counoise, 25% Grenache, 15% each Mourvèdre and Syrah and 5% each Bourboulenc, Clairette and Roussanne. After staying on skins for 80 days, it then matured in barriques for 18 months. The result is a fascinating mélange of spice, mixed berries and cocoa nuances. It's only medium to full-bodied (14.5% alcohol), framed by silky tannins and possesses a long, herb-tinged finish. It's a new (old?) way of working, but shows promise for the future in the way that it balances ripe flavors with reasonable alcohol levels.

Darren's Notes

Producer's Notes

Domaine de la Solitude

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With its roots in the 13th century Domaine de la Solitude offers serious Chateauneuf-du-Pape at appealing prices.

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