Saturday, November 27, 2010

Clos des Pape's 2008 White Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is that rare white in an ocean of red wines in the southern Rhône. Few producers make it, and the ones that do only devote 10% or less of their production to it.

Clos des Papes, the superstar producer of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, makes only one red and one white Châteauneuf--no special cuvées. Their wines are highly sought-after and can be very hard to find, particularly the white, as it accounts for just 10% of the wines made at the domaine. Out of the 32 hectares of vineyards it farms, just 3 hectares are planted to white grape varietals--Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Bourbolenc, Clairette, and Picpoul.

The last 3 vintages--2007, 2008, and 2009--produced terrific wines for Clos des Papes. And though both 2007 and 2009 get the hype and acclaim, it is the 2008 vintage that produced the most balanced and precise wines for the domaine. One of the keys to the quality of the wines of Clos des Papes is the low yields. Among these last 3 vintages, 2008 had the lowest yield, at 17 hl/ha, while 2009 was 19 hl/ha and 2007 was 25 hl/ha.

The 2008 Clos des Papes white Châteauneuf was vinified in stainless steel and aged in cask for 6 months, with lees stirring, and did not go through malolactic to retain good acidity. A rich wine with amazing depth of flavors and structure, this is capable of aging for over a decade like white Burgundy. It's enjoyable year-round for its freshness and versatility, but particularly great in the fall with rich dishes, especially those with wild mushrooms or truffles.

No comments:

Post a Comment