Just as is the case in Burgundy location can mean everything in Chateauneuf-du-Pape....
Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a rich tapestry of contrasting soils. There are large glacier pebbles (galets), limestone, degraded red sandstone, clay and unlimited combinations of them all. Each has a different effect on the grapes and the subsequent wines produced.
Grenache thrives on sandy soil and the iconic wines of Chateau Rayas are 100% Grenache grown on this soil.
With a growing awareness of the importance of terroir in Chateauneuf-du-Pape you will soon understand how delighted I am to add Domaine de Cristia to our portfolio.
Domaine de Cristia was created by Etienne Grangeon in 1942 and the property originally comprised just 2 hectares of Grenache. It was developed further by the driving force of his son Alain, who joined the domaine in 1963.
Passionate about viticulture, he notably contributed to the expansion of the domaine, planted improved grape varieties such as Syrah and Mourvèdre and created the identity of Cristia, based on the knowledge and respect of his soils.
Then, in 1999, Baptiste and Dominique joined their father. Their priorities were to concentrate on selecting the best parcels in order to produce a wine of a great quality, with a good ageing potential, to commercialise in France as well as for export.
Today three generations of vignerons share the passion and skills on the 21 hectares that make up Domaine de Cristia, which include the appellations of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11 hectares of red and 1 hectare of white), Côtes-du-Rhône Villages (1 hectare), Côtes-du-Rhône (4 hectares) and Vin de Pays (4 hectares).
Cristia's Chateauneuf-du-Pape vineyards are spread over 4 lieu-dits in the east all close to Rayas. The lieu-dits are Les Cristia north and south (after whom the domaine is named), Saint Georges and La Roquette. The soil varies greatly from sandy, clayish to calcareous and stony. Some of the Grenache vines are over 100 years of age. Syrah and Mourvedre average 50+ years. The domaine is organic certified ECOCERT since 2008.
What is most important about these vineyards is their location. Le Cristia north lies directly below Rayas (Chateau Rayas). La Roquette adjoins Pignan on two sides, Saint Georges abuts the most famous Chateauneuf lieu-dit Le Cras (Domaine de Vieux Telegraphe) and Le Cristia south is between Rayas and La Crau.
|Map of Chateauneuf-du-Pape showing the lieu-dits. The red circle shows Rayas and Le Cristia et al. Click to enlarge
From these exceptional sites Domaine de Crista produce 3 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reds - a lovely Cuvee Tradition from vines 50-100 years old - Cuvee Renaissance from a 1.5 ha plot in Le Cristia where the Grenache is over 100 years old - and Vieilles Vignes from 100% Grenache 70-80 years old. The soil in Le Cristia north is the same as Rayas but Cristia's vines are considerably older. Here we see the raspberry, licquorice and mineral that that you also see in Chateau Rayas.
We have secured some 2009 and 2010 Cuvee Renaissance and Vieilles Vignes from the estate as well as the 2011 Cuvee Tradition and a very smart Cotes-du-Rhone Vieilles Vignes. The Chateauneufs are highly rated and brilliantly reviewed. Alas, they are not produced in large quantities so you will need to act quickly.
There are too many wines and reviews to feature on this email. If you love top Chateauneuf-du-Pape click here to read all about Domaine de Cristia. Don't miss the very scarce and highly collectable magnums!
Order online or you may also order by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone (03) 9326 5737.