A Chateauneuf to Write Home About

Chateauneuf du Pape's may be one of my favorite Old World wines. A small subregion of the Rhone Valley in France, this area can blend up to 13 different grapes which allows a different blend from each producer.
Stylistically, CdP's are the typical Old World style with a lot of earthiness and dark fruit aromas. Most Chateauneuf's can be pricey since it's a small region with a lot less producers than the rest of France. Usually ranging from $50 on up, this is thought to be a special occassion wine, for me at least.

See map for the subregions in the Rhone Valley. CdP is towards the southern region.
Man, was I wrong! I came across this amazing CdP this week, Domaine Jean Royer CdP "Tradition" 2008. Unlike most CdP's, this one is only 90% Grenache, 5% Syrah, 5% Mouvedre. This producer didn't use the 13 different grape varitiels, instead stuck with the standard GSM blend as the rest of the Rhone Valley.

As soon as it's poured in the glass, you can immediately smell the robust nose. Since it is grenache-heavy, the black pepper is the first thing that came to mind. Dark fruits are on both the nose and palate. This wine is very full-bodied with depths of flavor. Complex, round flavors lead into a nice, long finish.

On top of the nose, palate and finish, the price tag is ideal! On the shelf for only $36.99 this is one robust CdP with a lot of flavor that you can easily fall in love with. Pick up a bottle today!

Cheers :)

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