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2006 Châteauneuf du Pape, Domaine de Cristia, Rhône

£30.50 inc. VAT

Châteauneuf du Pape is the joint oldest cru of the Southern Rhône and one of the most recognisable names in the wine world. However its distinction can also be its handicap as there are a number of wines made there that are pretty mediocre as some producers rely on the name’s reputation for sales rather than concentrating on quality. In his recently published book, Wines Of The Rhône, Matt Walls of Decanter magazine mentions that there are over 300 producers in the region but lists only a handful that are worth seeking out. Domaine de Cristia is one of these select few.

2006 was a very good vintage sandwiched between two ‘great’ vintages, 2005 and 2007 but were hailed so during a time when ripe, rich and extracted wines were ‘en vogue’ and ‘Parker Points’ ruled. Today these ‘great’ vintages are not known for their longevity and some of the wines have not aged particularly well, whilst the cooler vintage of 2006 has maintained a fresher fruit character and balanced acidity. Here we have a wine of complex, spicy and mature fruit but with underlying freshness – much better suited to wine tastes of the present day.

“The colour is a beautiful brick red on the rim but still has a vibrant dark red cherry shade to it. The mature fruit aromas are very pronounced from the beginning with ripe raspberry and black cherry along with touches of rose petal, white pepper and spice. It’s the kind of wine that you can sit and nose for hours. The palate is delicious – warm and spicy yes, but with a silkiness and underlying freshness that keeps the power in check. This tastes like a 15 year old wine but a 15 year old wine that has no intention of retiring yet and the finish is long and satisfying. This is a perfect example of mature Rhone -soft with underlying power and spice and more satisfying than recently tasted wines from other regions that were 3-4 times the price of this.” Jonny Wren, Director

Finding mature Châteauneuf du Pape isn’t easy as it drinks so well in its youth; finding it at this price is nigh on impossible. Snap this up whilst you can.

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