Calice de Saint Pierre 2020
AC Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Pères de l'Eglise, 750 ml
Its aroma ranges from fruits in pot, orange, sweet chestnuts, cloves and cinnamon to mocha, liquorice and floral scents of lilac and jasmine. On the palate it is powerful, opulent and yet elegant, with spicy notes, wonderfully sweet extracts and soft, ripe, perfectly integrated tannins. This great wine ends with a long finish and is a real pleasure when drunk young. We recommend, however, that you carafe it at this stage.
|Origin:||France / Rhône / Châteauneuf-du-Pape|
|Grape variety:||Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre|
|Ripening potential:||2 to 15 years|
|Serving temperature:||16 to 18 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Châteaubriand, Filet Wellington, Roasted lamb gigot, Wild specialities, Goat's cheese|
|Vinification:||partly destemmed, fermentation in cement tank|
|Harvest:||hand-picking, strict selection, selecting the grapes (by hand)|
|Maturation:||partly in concrete tank, partly in wooden barrel/foudre|
|Maturation duration:||15 months|
Domaine des Pères de l'Eglise
In 1933, the winegrowers and wine merchants of Châteauneuf-du-Pape were the first to impose quality rules relating to the cultivation and production of wines that would bear the name Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The geographic definition of the cultivation area, along with the other regulations, is still in force today, in order to guarantee the wine quality for connoisseurs. The Gradassi family of the Domaine des Pères de l’Église is following the tradition, but with the fresh impetus provided by the young fourth generation.
The fourth generation is represented by Laetitia, who after completing a course in business studies spent two years in Australia and New Zealand, in order to gather experience in wineries there. In 2014, she joined her father and uncle in the family wine estate. However, following her father’s unexpected death, she soon had to assume responsibility for the cellar. Her uncle, Serge Gradassi, predominantly takes care of work in the vineyard.
Since 2001, the best wines have been bottled under their own domaine name. Before then, the wine was sold directly to the trade. The family owns 19 hectares, of which approximately 15 are split into numerous plots spread across the entire Châteauneuf-du-Pape region. Unbelievably, the average age of the vines is 80 years. The family even owns a vineyard which, in 1885, was planted by the great-grandfather as a mixed culture comprising all 13 grape varieties permitted under the appellation.
Grenache seldom comes alone
Spaniards and Sardinians make the Grenache contentious: both claim it originated from their country. In fact, it had already appeared in both places by the 16th century. But a large number of mutations in Spain indicates that it has deeper roots on the Iberian Peninsula. The Grenache is meaty and spicy, with a wonderful, fruity sweetness and rich aromas of blackberry, cassis, plums and pepper. Under the name Garnacha, it contributes fullness to the Rioja. In Sardinia it is called Cannonau, where it yields strong, expressive wines. But its stronghold is in France. Grenache is the star in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and streams into many other assemblages from the south. Its preferred partners are Syrah and Mourvèdre. This blend is also very popular abroad. In Australia, these wines are simply called "GSM".
A hint of pepper
The legend stubbornly persists that the Syrah variety came from the Persian city of Shiraz. Yet, researchers have shown that it is a natural crossing of two old French varieties: the red Dureza from the Rhône Valley and the white Mondeuse blanche from Savoy. Wines from Syrah are gentle and concentrated. They smell of dark berries, violets and liquorice, and amaze with a piquant touch of white pepper. As varietal wines, they are found on the northern Rhone, as in the Hermitage or Côte Rôtie appellations, as well as in Swiss Valais. In the southern Rhône Valley, Syrah is often wedded with Grenache and Mourvèdre. In 1832, a Frenchman brought the variety to Australia, where it became the emblem of the national wine industry. There, the weightiest versions develop with typical notes of tar and chocolate.
It cannot be hot enough for the Monastrell grape. It grows around the Mediterranean, where the summers are long and hot and the winters mild. At only 200 metres in elevation, or 80 kilometres from the coast, its grapes have problems ripening. It was likely born in the Valencia region. According to written records, it was already counted among the most important varieties in 1460. Its exact origin is thought to be the Camp de Morvedre area. From there, it migrated in the 17th century to Provence, where it was christened Mourvèdre. Its wines are deeply dark, with intense blackberry aromas, rich tannins and moderate acidity. They enter into the most beautiful harmonies with other varieties from the south, such as Garnacha, Carignan or Syrah. The Mourvèdre is the main ingredient of red wines of Bandol; it also flows into the Châteauneuf-du-Pape. On the Spanish Levante coast, it is also pressed solo.
Rhône: northern power, southern charm
The Rhône’s source is in Valais, and it flows into the Mediterranean 800 kilometres to the south. In the last 200 kilometres of its course, it is lined with vines which yield a range of red crus that are among the most prestigious wines in the world – for example, on the spectacular cliffs of the Hermitage Mountains, or in the gravelly terraces of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The river valley, however, is also a rich source of characterful white wines and affordable, high-quality, everyday red wines.
France – Philosophy in a bottle
According to French philosophy, wine should be an expression of the soil and climate. They use the word “terroir” to describe this. Terroir makes every wine different, and many especially good. French wine is regarded worldwide as an expression of cultural perfection. The French believe that humans are responsible for the quality of the berries, the vine variety for their character, and nature for the quantity. This philosophy can be expressed succinctly as: “the truth is the vineyard, not the man.”