Domaine de Cristia

France, Rhône

Based around Courthezon and taking the name from the lieu dit 'Cristia', Domaine de Cristia was established by Etienne Grangeon in the early 1950s with just two hectares of Grenache. His son Alain joined the domaine in the 1960s. It was Alain who slowly started to increase the vineyard holdings and plant Syrah & Mourvèdre to complement the Grenache that makes up the majority of the estate.

Today the estate is in the very capable hands of Etienne's grandchildren, Baptiste, Dominique and Florent, who joined in 1999. They have nearly 19 hectares based mainly in the sandy soils around Courthezon. All the vineyards have been certified since 2008, with a biodynamic approach also being followed.

The vineyards are mainly northeast facing so benefit from not getting too much hot sun during the early part of the day, with the sandy soils lending freshness and elegance that is the hallmark of their cuvées.

(For the 2020 vintage)

This was another beautiful lineup from winemaker Baptiste Grangeon, who fashions a bevy of singular Châteauneuf du Pape from the Cristia lieu-dit located in the heart of the appellation and more sandy soils. Their base Châteauneuf du Pape is always worth drinking and has a Provençal yet fruit-forward style. Their Renaissance cuvée, which includes a big chunk of Mourvèdre and sees some new oak, is always slightly more modern styled yet still oozes Provençal charm. It almost always benefits from bottle age. Lastly, the Vieilles Vignes is all Grenache from very old vines and is brought up in tank and used barrels (it saw some new oak in the past). This is a Grenache lover’s dream and is unabashedly ripe, sexy, and exuberant. I’m just now finishing a case of the 2005, which is still going strong, so it has the capacity to evolve for a solid 15-20 years.

Jeb Dunnuck,  (Aug 2022)