Champagne, France, Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Champagne is made from 3 grapes. The two red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white grape Chardonnay. All three are commonly blended though a ‘blanc de blanc’ meaning ‘white from white’ indicates that only Chardonnay was used. Conversely a ‘blanc de noir’ or ‘white from black’ indicates that the two red grapes were used.
A common misconception is that Champagne was invented by Dom Pérignon. Although this is not the case, he made considerable contributions to the quality and production methods used in the region. The very first bottles of Champagne were created by accident, and coined ‘the devil’s wine’ for all the popping corks. Sparkling wine in Australia was referred to as Champagne but this practise has long been disallowed.
Methode Champenoise is the traditional method by which Champagne is produced and if you see Millisime on a bottle, it represents the fact that the wine comes from a particular vintage rather than being blended, which is the more common practice.
Icons such as Dom Pérignon and Krug are world renowned, but we find as much pleasure in the smaller Champagne houses such as Gosset and Jacquinot. Magnums are perfect for the festive occasions and half bottles are also available.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the largest AOC in the Southern Rhone and the oldest AOC in France is an historic village between Orange and Avignon in the southern Rhone Valley. It is renowned for producing gloriously rich red wines, reminiscent of the heat and herbs of the south.
Vineyards are typified by the large round 'galet' stones which assist in reflecting sun onto the untrained bush vines. The climate in CNDP is the driest of all Rhone appellations, a Mediterranean climate in which the dryness is accentuated by the wineries not being permitted (in all but extreme conditions) to irrigate their vines.
The wines have a depth of complexity which comes from blending several of the 14 permitted grape varieties. The varieties are: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache is generally the dominant varietal with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support. The white wines in the region are made from Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin and represent barely a tenth of total production.
**THIS ONLINE TASTING IS OVER**
This pack contains a bottle of 12 different wines to be opened during a series of 4 online tastings held throughout late August and early September 2020.
Across 4 weeks we will ... Learn More