High alcohol red wines III. – Domaine André Mathieu, la Centenaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016

Hitting 16%, this Chateauneuf du Pape has the highest alcohol in this series. La Centenaire is made entirely from Grenache, which is supposed to handle heat far better than Syrah for example, but to see such alcohol content on the label is not just a bit worrying. Yet this was the winner of the trio (the other two are the El Telar Monastrell and Maccone Primitivo), when it comes to handling alcohol.

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Rhone Cru with age – Alain Jaume & Fils Lirac Roquedon 2012

Drinking in Avignon, wine #7. I bought the bottle at the cellar door, at the end of my visit. There were so many wines available, and I love the producer so I wanted all them, but sadly, I could only carry one bottle with myself. And because the topic that I was most interested on this trip was how Southern Rhone reds age, I chose what the lady recommended: a Lirac at 6.5 years of age, presumably at its prime. Continue reading

Chateauneuf-du-Pape visits: Domaine Grand Veneur

My first target to visit in Chateauneuf-du-Pape was Domaine Grand Veneur at the end of May, and I really enjoyed it. We started in a vineyard near the winery, which sits just on the other side of appellation’s border. It seems pretty obvious that just a few meters of difference won’t stop you from growing the same quality of grapes, but the rules are strict – you cannot call it Chateauneuf-du-Pape anymore. Which means you cannot ask the same price for the wine. On the other hand, you can have a bigger crop, different varieties – for example, Viognier, which is not allowed in CdP -, and you can use different trailing systems. You can train Grenache on cordons, for example, which is not allowed inside the appellation. Continue reading