Old Vines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Brian and I recently visited the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region for a château tour with a happy newlywed couple. Chateauneuf is renowned for its full-bodied red wines and we tasted many a wonderful red that day during the full-day tour to five different vineyards. One of the highlights of the day was a visit to a well-known vineyard where we were able to do a vertical tasting of 4 reds from 2004-2008. It was remarkable to taste the drastic differences in the wine from just year to year.

Also at this same winery, we tasted a 2001 vintage that was made from grapes from over 100 year old vines! The blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah comes from vines on a site which belonged to the winemaker’s grandmother. The original vines were planted just after the phylloxera era in 1866. It is a remarkable, very concentrated wine that already has the appearance of slight brown coloration around the edges when viewed in the glass. It had a distinct taste of leather yet who knows what the tasting experience will be like in another 20 years. Though a memorable wine already, this vintage needs a few more decades in the bottle to really reach reach its full potential coming from such an old source in this legendary region.