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In 1999 we moved to England, where I started to ‘collect’ wines, and had my first CDP.  I always think of this region as unique, rich, rewarding and expensive.  Inflation has not been kind to the consumers of Châteauneuf, it’s prices going higher and higher by the vintage as the region gains accolades from ‘The Big Man’ which adds dollars to the entry fee, (mind you the quality is also coming up).  The region was named after the Pope’s New Castle, and allows seven grapes to be blended with the main Grenache varietal.  Think Cinsault, Mourvedre, Syrah and more.  Makes my mouth water just listing them.

Back to the wine at hand.  Dark purple in the glass and a nose of blackberry meets rock.  Yup, rock.  This wine has a minerality that took a while to pick up.  The palate comes across as young, yet ready to play… with Blackcurrants, stone and a green pepper component.  Very smooth tannins are built for aging yet are allowing drinkability right now if you decant/aerate (which I did).  The structure of this wine is really good, with acidity balancing the alcohol, which alarmed me initially.  This particular wine is running at 15%.  It’s main backbone coming from 80% Grenache with 18% Syrah smoothing it out and 2% Mourvedre which no doubt adds the tannic and alcohol components.  The minerality and stone notes no doubt coming from the terroir, which consists of galettes or round stones.  These galettes help maintain the day’s heat and help mold the flavors of the wines and give them that uniqueness.

For about $32, you are getting a lower priced CDP that drinks well, has good cellaring potential and is a good introduction into the region if you have never forayed there.  91 points and 4 stars.  Salut….