Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chante Le Merle 2018
A shiny red color with dark purple highlights. The nose is complex. This very aromatic Chateauneuf-du-Pape is elegant and long in the mouth. A powerful wine with a cellar potential for many years.
Blend: 80% Grenache, 10% Cinsault and 10% Mourvèdre
This powerful wine perfectly matched with jugged hares, game, and truffled omelets.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The perfumed, floral, cherry herbal tea-scented 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes isn't overly dark or dense, but captures the more fragrant, silky side of Grenache. It's full-bodied and ripe, with some faint, chocolaty overtones yet retains a sense of elegance and—dare I say it, in a wine that's labeled 15.5% alcohol—delicacy, finishing with silky tannins and ample length. It's a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Mourvèdre, aged in foudres.
Saturated ruby. Smoke- and spice-accented cherry, dark berry and lavender scents show fine clarity, and licorice and rhubarb accents emerge with aeration. Gently sweet and expansive in the mouth, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry, cherry preserve and floral pastille flavors that firm up through the mid palate. Subtly gripping tannins come in late on the impressively long finish, which strongly echoes the spice and floral notes.
In the same mold, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes offers loads of Provençal garrigue, smoked game, ground pepper, and traditional Châteauneuf du Pape goodness on the nose. It displays the vintage’s more forward, soft, supple style on the palate and is medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannins, moderate mid-palate depth, and a great finish. Based on 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Syrah that was not destemmed and was brought up all in concrete, this is a classic Châteauneuf du Pape to enjoy over the coming 10-15 years.
Since 1860, this domaine has been handed over from father to son by the Boiron family. For five generations, the philosophy of “Bosquet des Papes” estate is to produce laying down wines, meaning that they can be kept for many years, thereby respecting the traditions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The domaine is now run by Nicolas Boiron and his wife Jeanne-Claire.
Most of the wooden vessels in the cellar are foudres but they are using more and more demi-muids maybe by influence of Philippe Cambie.
The domain covers about 40 different parcels, a total of 32 ha of which 3.5 ha are Cotes du Rhone. The average age of the vines is about 50 years. A 3.5 ha plot with vines aging around 100 years are used for Cuvée Chante le Merle.
Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.
According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.
Only about 6-7% of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.
The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.