Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016 SELECTION GRAND MILLESIME

 

Solitude Chateauneuf 2016 GM selection header
Chateauneuf-du-Pape made in a  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. We are about to ship the wine and I have extended the offer to the end of this week. Be quick!
Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape Selection Grand Millesime 2016
750ml bottle Normally $124.95
Special Pre Arrival Price $87.50 (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 luke@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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Phone: (03) 9326 5737

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www.grandmillesime.com.au

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Vin de la Solitude header

Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vin de la Solitude 2016 
In Magnum and bottle
Almost Gone!

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.

There are only 1000 bottles of this wine for the world and they will only be available in a specially made 3-bottle wooden case befitting such a prestige release.

On top of that there are 100 Magnums.

We had a very generous allocation but it is almost all gone.

Vinous - Josh Raynolds: Brilliant ruby. A suave, expansive bouquet evokes fresh dark berries, candied flowers and smoky minerals, backed by a hint of peppery spices. In an elegant yet concentrated style, offering seamless black raspberry and spicecake flavors that show very good depth as well as clarity. Juicy acidity adds lift and definition to a very long, floral-accented finish framed by velvety, harmonious tannins. 93-95 Points

Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vin de la Solitude 2016 
Wooden Case of Three 750ml Bottles 
Normally $465.00
Pre Arrival Price $395.00
1500ml MAGNUM Normally $305.00
Pre Arrival Price $259.00

To order please email luke@grandmillesime.com.au.

 

Under the Liquor Reform Act 1998, it is an offence for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor. It is also an offence for a licensee to supply liquor or permit liquor to be supplied to a person under the age of 18 years.

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