Domaine du Pere Caboche Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2021
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Looking first at the white, the 2021 Châteauneuf Du Pape Blanc is straight-up beautiful stuff, offering clean citrus and orange blossom-like fruits as well as subtle spice, chalky minerality, and flower oil-like nuances. Medium-bodied on the palate, with bright yet integrated acidity, it's textured, has remarkable purity, and a great finish.
Jean-Pierre Boisson, former long-serving mayor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, runs Domaine Père Caboche with his children Emily & Nicolas. Members of the Boisson family have been both winemakers and blacksmiths for generations. The family nickname of Caboche derives from the old Provençal word for ‘horseshoe nails’ and their Vieilles Vignes cuvée is named after Elisabeth Chambellan, a local blacksmith’s daughter who married Jean-Louis Boisson in 1772.
"Since 1772, we have had parcels that have remained in the family, without there being any exchange or sale. The vines which are still there now are over 100 years old and produce an outstanding wine. The oldest parcel was planted in 1906. As a tribute and thanks to Elisabeth, we are today vine-growers from father to son and daughter." On the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, the Domaine du Père Caboche vineyard is covered with rolled pebbles on 17 hectares, with the greatest density on the famous soil of La Crau. They contribute to the density and fullness of our wines. On this sea of pebbles, the vineyard still offers different products, thanks to the different layers in the underground. The clay-calcareous soil helps the vines with their water retaining properties, which has become more and more important with climatic changes. Thus the wines appear to be softer in the mouth. Sand is also present in proportions changing from one soil to another, bringing notes of elegance and finesse.
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.
Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions. Typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation. Somm Secret—In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common but the south retains more variety. Marsanne, Roussanne as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc are typical.