Charles Melton Nine Popes GSM 1998

Notes sourced from Charles Melton Winery. The Nine Popes is a blend based on the three major southern Rhone varieties; Grenache, Shiraz & Mourvedre. Whilst the Nine Popes was initially modelled on Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it has evolved into an internationally recognised example of this style in its own right.Grenache perfume and Shiraz spice combine to produce a complex style that will take on lovely gamey and sweet spice characters with age. The intensity of flavours on the palate, which is the hallmark of Nine Popes, comes from the extraordinarily low yields of our Grenache -½ to 1½ tonnes per acre. With patience Nine Popes will evolve into a rich, smooth style of great longevity. All three varieties are dry farmed with the majority component, Grenache (approx. 70%), beinggrown in the traditional "goblet" (or bush vine) manner. Harvest is by hand, into both 1 tonne binsand 30kg crates. Beaume level is ideally in the 14º-14.5º range (no higher!!)At the winery the bins are crushed and destemmed while the crates are tipped (stalks intact) into the fermenter. The percentage of whole bunch fruit can range up to 15% in some vintages. Montachet yeast is added and the fermentation proceeds until dryness with two pump-overs daily.The wine is drained, pressed and all pressings are blended with the free run. The wine is thentransferred to French and American barriques though in recent years a larger proportion of French(Vosge, Never, Troçais) has been used and this will increase to 100% by 2000. The wine is aged inoak on gross lees for approximately 15 months. No racking or battonage takes place.1998 is considered to be one of the great vintages of the last two decades. Sweet perfume aromas with some bacon/spice overtones. Softly intense fruit aromas that will build. Berry sweetness on the palate which is high in glycerol and rich balanced acid and soft tannins. 14.5% alcohol volume.
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  • Charles Melton was one of the band of new producers who began to turn the tide in the late 1980s.
  • Charles Melton was able to achieve a high degree of intensity as well as fruit forwardness.
  • With patience Nine Popes will evolve into a rich, smooth style of great longevity.
  • 1 or more bottles
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Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low (Low)
    High (High)
  • Aroma
  • Palate

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Robert Parker

    "A Chateauneuf du Pape look-alike, the 1998 Nine Popes (a blend of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvedre) boasts a saturated ruby/purple color in addition to abundant quantities of peppery kirsch and earthy notes, and medium to full body, which provide a large, dense, chewy palate impact. 89 pts, Rob Parker"

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Wine regions are in almost all the states with Victoria having 21 regions! Read more about key wine regions such as Margaret River, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley and local to New South Wales, Cowra, Southern Highlands and Mudgee.

South Australia

If you like Australian wine, then you probably like South Australia wine. The rich reds produced there put Australia on the wine-making map of the world. With over 40% of the country's vineyards, South Australia can rightfully call itself the wine state.

Wines are produced in several regions throughout the state, though many are naturally grouped together, like Barossa and Eden Valleys, only 15 minutes apart. They include such regions as Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Eden Valley, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, The Limestone Coast, McLaren Vale and Wrattonbully to name but a few!

Barossa Valley boasts some of the oldest vines in Australia dating back to 1843 and produces some of the world's finest Shiraz, whilst the 'terra rossa' soils of Coonawarra is most suited to producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignons. If you're a fan of Riesling, Clare Valley is a great place to explore and for a Maritime climate not dissimilar to parts of the Italian coastline, seek out the wines from McLaren Vale.

Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley is about an hour and a half drive to the North of Adelaide, in South Australia and is the oldest wine region in the country, founded by German settlers. The region can be credited with putting Australian wine on the world wine map, thanks to Shiraz, which thrives in the warm climate (though Hunter Valley Semillon also contributed.)

For many years traditionalist wine makers thought the grape variety was best suited to the cooler climates of the Rhone Valley and that the variety would cook in the warmth of the Australian sun. Although South Australian Shiraz is a bigger, beefier wine than its southern French counterpart Syrah, no one can deny the region's propensity to produce world-class wines.

Not only Shiraz is cultivated in Barossa Valley, with other red varieties such as Grenache, Mourvedre (Mataro) and to a lesser extent Cabernet Sauvignon. The white varieties that thrive best seem to be Semillon, Chardonnay and Rhone varietals like viognier, Marsanne and Roussane.

The Valley has many subregions which all have unique terroirs. Seppeltsfield, Marananga, Greenock are to name but a few. With a huge number of wineries in such a small area and a host of accommodation, the region is very popular for wine tourism. In the words of Master of Wine Jancis Robinson, the Barossa Valley became "Australia's quintessential wine region."

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