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Professional Ratings: 85 Wine Spectator
Region: Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Varietal: Rhone Red Blends
Item no. 38318
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard covers 7,500 acres between Avignon and Orange in the southern part of the Rhône Valley. Endowed with poor soil and a Mediterranean climate of sunshine and heat, it is an ideal region for producing very full-flavored wines. Although 13 grape varieties are allowed, the principal one is Grenache, followed by Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. VINTAGE The autumn and winter months were characterized by mild temperatures and a lack of rain. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards were not affected by the frost of April 14th and flowering, followed by the setting of the grapes, took place under the best possible conditions. Heat, sun and relative drought conditions (especially in August) dominated during the vine's growing cycle. 1998 will be remembered as a great vintage for Syrah which has resulted in rich, strong and complex wines. On the other hand the vintage was more difficult with irregular quality for Grenache because of high yields. WINEMAKING The greatest difficulty of the year was to manage the excessive yield of the Grenache which led to problems of color dilution in spite of the high potential alcohol level. Winemaker Guy Sarton du Jonchay used the technique of vinifying the Grenache together with the Syrah, which had reached a very high level of concentration because of low yields. This process enabled the Grenache to take on color and substance. This wine bears the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation controlee crest on the bottle and was bottled at the estate in the region where the grapes were grown. WINEMAKER NOTES Intense purple hue. Rich and aromatic, typical of Grenache, with a nose of ripe fruit (nectarines) and flowers (violets). Fat and full-bodied in the mouth with velvety tannins and a finish dominated by fruit and spices.