Chapelle St. Theodoric Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Grand Pin 2018
Traditional whole-cluster vinification, indigenous yeast fermentation and aged in various ages of demi-muids. Harvested late, well into October. Usually harvested a little later than Guigasse, but at the top of the Pignan hill, in very light sandy soil. Very low average yields of 15hL/ha. Purity, finesse and great aromatics are the hallmark of the Grand Pin, a Burgundian inspired Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Grand Pin, tasted from barrel, explodes with floral and tea-like notes allied to red raspberries and strawberries. Full-bodied, but with an amazing lithe, delicate, silky structure, it looks to be another huge success for this pure Grenache cuvée.
Barrel Sample: (93-95)
Deep, vivid red. An expansive bouquet evokes ripe red fruit, potpourri, garrigue and smoky minerals, and an exotic spice quality builds in the glass. Shows impressive depth as well as energy, offering sappy raspberry, bitter cherry, botanical herb and spice cake flavors braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes appealingly sweet, gently tannic and impressively long, leaving behind mineral, candied lavender and raspberry notes.
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.