A powerful, big, deep and persistent Chateauneuf-du-Pape

I recently reorganized my wines and rediscovered a Chateauneuf-du-Pape that was one of the wines from the 2007 vintage that was blessed with the remarkable 100 Parker-points in 2009 when Robert Parker according to the international world of critics went crazy and dubbed “everything” in the Rhône dale to perfection. Never the less, he certainly put his finger, all by himself, on the issue with what points really mean and no mistakes can be made of what his preference is about. I clearly remember, having no ideas about Boislauzon at the time, except for recognising the label, when buying two of these and putting them in my wine cooler since they only cost €40 each when released. Amazingly this wine today still retails for about €200 that it reached after Parker’s announcement. And then the 2010 vintage was blessed with the same top score, so the future seems bright for this estate.

The 6th generation is running the estate now; the brother and sister Daniel and Christine Chaussy. They are bio-dynamic and employ biological farming in the vineyards. They throw whole grape bunches into the crusher, employ cement vats for fermentation and carry out maceration with daily pumping over and remontage for 30 days. Aging is employed in a combination of big, neutral barrels (foudres) and 50% barriques of which are 2nd and 3rd passage. Chateneauf-de-Pape is usually a blend of several grapes including Mourvèdre and Grenache. However, in this cuvée they blend 80% Grenache and the rest is Mourvèdre from four different vineyards of which many vines are over 80 years old.

The 2007 vintage was really good in Chateauneuf-du-Pape with some very well timed and needed rain in mid September after a very dry summer. Harvest was very easy and rendered evenly and almost perfect ripe fruit with high concentration if you waited a little.

Colour is very dark ruby in the middle and scarlet, light red purple edges.

A very deeply composed nose emerges from the glass. Some very interesting scents of pencil-lead, saline mushrooms, shale, summer meadow, complex earthy minerals, balsamic notes, distinct black pepper and unfortunately, suddenly some “black-green” oak notes, flowery bath soap hints on the otherwise very interesting nose. The latter three most likely from oak. Anyway, if you can ignore the oak contributions this is an overall elegant and deep nose indeed with a lot of expression from its site.

On the palate, we are offered dark, dense and jammy fruit. Distinct raisins, figs, obvious gravel, shale, cassis, notes of cocoa, menthol, peppers and bitter anise. Acidity is very fine and balsamic and a little saline with a very delightful fresh grape twist. Texture is polished, fine sandy and tannins are ripe, thick and pleasantly chewy. A very powerful wine with thick, chewy layers of fruit with impressive persistent, but in addition to oak notes, there is a tiny metallic-bitterness in the long finish that disturbs the overall impression. Even though the label says 15% alcohol, this is not a problem really.

It is a powerful, big, rich and fresh wine, full of thick, chewy layers of fruit with a lot of complex aromas and some depth in here from very old vines, but sadly a little coated with toasty oak notes and some bitterness in the finish that lowers the overall impression unfortunately. Clearly, a more careful use of oak would have rendered a better wine and score. This is strange as they claim to be using no new oak here, but maybe the toasting is the key here. Open now-2020.


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