St Joseph and Cornas also provide wines of weight and worth, but the best source for good value is Crozes-Hermitage, a satellite appellation which has come alive in the last few years with the arrival of young blood.
The river valley widens out south of Valence into Côtes du Rhône country on the windy alluvial plains and the lower slopes of the hills. It is a most imposing sight during the cold, clear, blue skies of Mistral conditions. The best of the wine villages of the Côtes du Rhône have been promoted to their own appellations - Vinsobres, Vacqueyras - close in quality to the better known Gigondas.
The king of the southern Rhône is Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here the galets roulés, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed, provide the context for gloriously rich red wines that are redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, and enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Thirteen are permitted in all, but Grenache usually dominates, along with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support. A fine vintage needs eight to 10 years cellaring for best results.
If your taste runs to fuller, richer, relatively exotic white wines, then perhaps a white Hermitage or Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the Rhône Valley would suit better, or else a marvellously perfumed, heady Condrieu - headquarters of the Viognier grape.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a wine appellation located in the southern Rhone Valley of France. The history of this region dates back to the 14th century when Pope Clement V...
Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a wine appellation located in the southern Rhone Valley of France. The history of this region dates back to the 14th century when Pope Clement V moved the papal court from Rome to Avignon. The papacy had a significant influence on the wine production in the region, and it was during this time that the vineyards of Chateauneuf-du-Pape were established.
The style of production in Chateauneuf-du-Pape is unique and is characterized by the use of a variety of grape varieties. The appellation allows for up to 18 different grape varieties to be used in the production of its wines. The most commonly used grape varieties are Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. The wines produced in Chateauneuf-du-Pape are known for their complexity, depth, and richness.
The vineyards of Chateauneuf-du-Pape are located on a plateau that is covered with large stones, which help to retain heat and reflect it back onto the vines. This unique terroir, combined with the Mediterranean climate, creates ideal growing conditions for the grapes. The vines are grown using traditional methods, and the grapes are hand-harvested to ensure the highest quality.
The wines produced in Chateauneuf-du-Pape are typically full-bodied and rich, with a deep ruby colour. They are known for their complex aromas of dark fruit, spices, and herbs. The tannins in these wines are firm but well-integrated, providing structure and balance. The wines are aged in oak barrels, which adds a subtle vanilla and spice flavour to the wine.
The most common wine produced in Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the red wine, which accounts for around 95% of the production. The white wine produced in the region is made from a blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Clairette grapes. The white wines are typically full-bodied and rich, with flavours of honey, apricot, and citrus.
In conclusion, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a unique wine appellation that produces some of the most complex and rich wines in the world. The combination of the unique terroir, traditional methods of production, and the use of a variety of grape varieties creates wines that are truly exceptional. If you are looking for a wine that is full-bodied, rich, and complex, then Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the perfect choice.