Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016 SELECTION GRAND MILLESIME

 

 
Solitude Chateauneuf 2016 GM selection header
Chateauneuf-du-Pape made Burgundian style. The first SELECTION GRAND MILLESIME from the Rhone Valley
 
Chateauneuf-du-Pape....what do I think of it? As a Burgundy drinker I often find it too ripe and alcoholic. But then I recall wines like 1969 and 1978 Chateau Rayas. They are wines that stand tall against the best Burgundies the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti produces.

In fact they are surprisingly similar in character and complexity. They are simply magnificent and should the opportunity present itself you must try them.

Over the years I have decided that, for me at least, the greatest Chateauneuf-du-Pape is made from 100% Grenache. Just like Chateau Rayas. The vines need to be old, the oak not new, and most importantly the vintage warm but not hot. Grenache, like Pinot Noir, becomes a different beast when it is too ripe.

Only when the conditions are optimal do the aromas of raspberries and spice appear and the wines weave their way through your senses just as a fine Burgundy does.

Last September I commenced my French trip with an overnight visit to Domaine de la Solitude in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. I was there to taste the 2015's. Florent Lancon led us on a tour of the vineyards and winery after which we sat down to the tasting. The 2015 reds were terrific, full of character, and I also tasted the beguiling 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc.

At the end of the sitdown tasting Florent asked if we would like to taste the 2016 reds from barrel. Of course! We tasted through numerous barrels which will form part of the domaine's red cuvees. At the end of the cellar was a small stack of 225 litre barrels which Florent was obviously very proud of. Like all young winemakers he has a level of international experience that his ancestors did not have.

Florent, like most winemakers I am sure, is very interested in the Burgundian style of winemaking. He advised that two of these special barrels were produced using Burgundian techniques including 100% whole bunch - one of the well known secrets of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti's majestic reds.

One taste and I was in love!

The wine in the barrel was 100% Grenache from 80 year vines off Gallet Roules soil. The barrique was 3 years old and not imparting any oak character. The nose was redolent of raspberries and spice. It was fresh and vibrant and with a texture reminescent of Burgundy. Unbelievably good! No, simply stunning!

Tongue in cheek I asked Florent if I could buy the barrel. After a few seconds consideration, much to my surprise, he said yes. The second SELECTION GRAND MILLESIME was born! And it was a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, something that I had never envisaged.
Today, I am excited to offer this special cuvee. There are only 240 bottles and 24 magnums. The 2016 vintage is very special - read the critiques alongside - and this wine is something out of the box. A Chateauneuf-du-Pape for Burgundy drinkers.

The wine has a special label and being my selection is only available worldwide through Grand Millesime.
I want everyone to share in my pleasure and have decided to offer this wine at a 30% Pre Arrival Discount. This offer is only available until the end of the month which is when the wine will be bottled.
Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape Selection Grand Millesime 2016
750ml bottle Normally $124.95
Special Pre Arrival Price $87.50 (Save 30%)
1500ml MAGNUM Normally $249.90
Special Pre Arrival Price $175.00 (Save 30%)
Solitude Selection GM label
Darren Harris: A single barrel personal selection solely for Grand Millesime. 100% Grenache from 80 year old vines grown on Gallet Roules from the climat of Beaucoup. 100% full bunch. 3 year old oak. Deep, bright hue. A soaring nose of raspberries, bitter cherry and spice. A note of blood orange and its citric lift. You can sense the complexity and intensity from the use of whole bunches. The palate is just as glorious as the nose. The fruit is perfectly ripe and the wine is multi-layered. The tannins are very fine leaving a sense of balance and none of the heaviness often seen in Chateauneufs with a good percentage of Syrah. Great texture and very long. Stylish and delicious with a lot in common with serious Burgundy. 
Click here to go to view the wines on our website. You may also order by email to tracey@grandmillesime.com.au or telephone.

To view the full range of Domaine de la Solitude wines and read more about the estate click here.
 
Cheers,
Darren

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Grand Millesime Pty Ltd

21 Toorak Road

South Yarra

Vic 3141

 

Phone: (03) 9326 5737

Fax: (03) 9326 6744

 

www.grandmillesime.com.au

sales@grandmillesime.com.au

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The 2016 vintage in Chateauneuf-du-Pape

A lot has already been written about the 2016 vintage. 

Here are a few quick quotes.

Wine Scholar Guild "2016 marvellously embodies what can be called an exceptional vintage. The 2016 reds are characterised by very crisp, frank, intense and complex aromas. Depending on where they grew and their "terroir", the Grenache-based wines give off scents of raspberry, liquorice, garrigue, candied ginger, black fruit and citrus fruit. The blending of the various varietals allowed in the AC gives birth to a magical complexity, the subtle result of the interaction between the inherent characteristics of the grape variety and the influence of the "terroir". The red wines show dense, dark colours, with very high levels of anthocyanins. In the mouth, the wines are intense, full-bodied, with a beautiful freshness. In a word, they are powerful! The tannins are there, but they are extremely fine and already very silky."

The Wine Cellar Insider "2016 - The hot, dry, summer conditions were made even better with late season rains that fell just before harvest, pushing the grapes to true, phenolic ripeness. Due to sublime weather, the harvest was long, allowing growers to take advantage of seldom seen conditions. This is easily the best vintage since 2010 for red and white wines. 98 Pts

Decanter "Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016 red wines have a 'remarkable density of ripe tannins' and are, unsurprisingly, among the standard bearers for one of the best Southern Rhône vintages in recent memory."

Catherine Petrie MW "2016 is a roaring success in the Rhône. It follows the excellent 2015 whose release saw an upsurge in interest in this classic French region of diverse expression....Rhône expert John Livingstone Learmonth has described 2016 as ranking amongst the top three vintages he has encountered since he began reviewing the region in the early 1970s. Even at this early stage, growers have been comparing it with such legendary vintages as 2010 and 1990....As a result of the long, steady growing season, the 2016s are slightly lighter in body and alcohol than the 2015s.  It was also a success story for the South's most important variety, Grenache, whose weight and concentration comes from fruit intensity and not from high alcohol (the cool nights of the later season helped retain acidity and kept sugar levels in check). What marks the 2016s apart is three key elements: the first, and most significant, is the density and opulence of fruit richness. I do not mean heady alcohol and heavy body here, I mean intensely rich, luxurious flavours. This richness is matched by the second defining element: supple, melting tannins. In many cases the 2016s have equally high (sometimes even higher) tannic content compared with the 2015s, but their profile is distinctly different. These are small, sweet, silky tannins, where the 2015s had an edge of firmness and structure. The third component is their energy and freshness. The long, late growing season with warm autumn days and cool nights aided the development of phenolic ripeness (silky tannins and rich colours) alongside retention of vibrant acidity and low pH. These three elements combined have a dual result: the wines have the classic elements for a long development, but they are also strikingly accessible and approachable in their youth."
 

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