CHÂTEAUNEUF DU PAPE

2019 La Crau Ouest Domaine Santa Duc

Grapes Mourvèdre, Syrah, Counoise, Grenache
Colour Red
Origin France, Rhône
Other Bio-dynamic, Certified Organic
District Southern Rhône
Village Châteauneuf du Pape

2019 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau Ouest - tasted from tank at cellars July 2021 A tiny 0.5ha plot to the east of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, north facing, sandy soils. 100% Grenache with an average age of 90 years. 18 months in terracotta Amphora. Wow is the fist word in my notes... if you could bottle the essence of Grenache, this would probably be it. Super bright and focused on the nose, sweet floral violets and wild raspberry notes, imp liquorice and cassis, fine and concentrated, lovely elegant tannin with a big juicy ripe acidity too to carry it, the last note is stunning, a truly brilliant wine. L&S (Oct 2021)


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Shows a taut, racy red fruit profile, with damson plum, bitter cherry and red currant notes allied with singed cedar, dried garrigue, brick dust and tobacco hints. Offers savory and shiso leaf threads that stitch up the finish. Distinctive, relying on freshness more than power. Drinking range: 2024 - 2036 Rating: 93 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Dec 2021)

Lastly, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Crau Ouest (100% Grenache brought up in clay jars) reveals a more translucent ruby hue as well as a spicy nose of wild strawberries, dried flowers, peppery spice, and loamy earth. It's another Pinot Noir look-alike from this estate that delivers beautiful balance, building structure, and a great finish. Rating: 93 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Nov 2021)

Domaine Santa Duc

The name of Domaine Santa Duc has been at the pinnacle of wine in Gigondas since the mid 80’s when, under the firm guidance of the irrepressible and charismatic Yves Gras, they gained international recognition and high scores from wine critics. They have, for some time, been a reference point for quality and style, from one of the most consistently brilliant Crus in the Southern Rhone.

The future of the domaine is now in the very capable hands of Yves' son Benjamin, who becomes the 6th generation of the family to head up the estate. To borrow from Matt Walls ‘Yves Gras and his son Benjamin are very different characters. Yves has the air of a retired East End enforcer but Benjamin is bookish and jovial’. It would appear from our recent tastings that the estate is in safe hands. Having a respectable CV that boasts stages at Domaine de la Romanée Conti and Vega Sicilia, and visits to nearly every wine producing country in the world, he bring fresh views and ideas, whilst respecting the traditions of his father's work and the past.

The entire 30 hectare estate is now biodynamically farmed and certified, with an emphasis on total respect for nature in the vineyard. They comprise a patchwork of prime vineyard sites in Gigondas totalling 13 hectares, including two brilliant lieux-dits, Les Hautes Garrigues & Clos Derriere Vieille, that bring out the very best expression of Grenache, Syrah & Mourvedre. There is also 6 hectares of prized parcels in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, that have gained high praise in a short space of time. The balance is spread across Vacqueyras and Cotes du Rhone. Nearly all the vines are trained goblet, with a program of massal selection ongoing to ensure healthy vines from older rootstocks.

The wine making philosophy, like so many now, is as little intervention as possible. Stainless steel fermentation, with a proportion of stems and a short maceration followed by ageing in a mixture of large foudres and terracotta amphorae. The wines are fresh, elegant, pure, dark fruited and long lived although approachable in their youth too. Be in no doubt, these are some of the best wines being made in the southern Rhone.

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