Hospice du Rhône 2016–Châteauneuf-du-Pape Seminar

| April 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

CdP #3a 4-15-16

The HdR seminars are usually one of the main highlights of the HdR experience, and this year started with a bang.  Jeb Dunnuck of The Wine Advocate (formerly The Rhône Report) presented this seminar, which was my personal favorite.  Many years ago, I started my wine journey with CdP’s.  Even though I have wandered far and wide from southern Rhônes, I have never lost my love for red CdP’s.

Before getting to the wines, Jeb spent a good deal of time discussed the AOC and its terroir.  As Jeb pointed out, CdP is a larger, more complex area than many people realize.  He commented that Jeb #1a 4-15-16CdP is three times the size of Gigondas, for example, and there are over 200 producers of CdP.  The soils can include clay, sand or lime, and a typical feature is the galets (pebbles).  By the way, for a good overview map of the diversity of CdP soils and the location of the major producers, go here:


In addition to discussing topics such as traditional versus “modern” winemaking styles in CdP, Jeb offered commentary on issues such as optimal aging.  He pointed out that unlike traditional Cabernet wines that often take a long time to come around, most CdP drinks well for most of its life.  In his experience, most red CdP is fully mature at 10-15 years of age.  The wines may continue to age past that point, although whether they really “improve” after 15 years is another matter.  One of my favorite quotes from his seminar:  “Tradition is a string of successful experiments.”


As with the rest of HdR seminars, I’ll give notes on my top wines in the order tasted:

  1. 2010 Domaine Bois du Boursan. Bois du Boursan is south of the town center of Châteauneuf-du-Page.  The blend is 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, and 5% other grapes.  A traditional style of CdP, with just a bit of destemming.  A lovely, funky old school-ish of CdP, with lots of herbs and saddle leather.CdP Glasses #1a 4-15-16
  2. 2012 Domaine du Pegau Cuvée Réservée. Pegau is north of the town center.  Many of the vineyards in Le Crau, with lots of the rolled stones.  The Cuvée Réservée blend is 85% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre, and 10% other varieties.  This is a fairly powerful style of red CdP, with a meaty quality and a touch of tobacco.
  3. 2012 Clos du Mont-Olivet. Located just southwest of the town center.  The vineyard sources are varied in location, soil, etc.   The grapes are partially destemmed, and the wine is 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and the rest various grapes.  A very unique candied nose, sort of a “Jolly Rancher” confected aroma.  Lots of energy in the midpalate with the acidity, and a heavier weight mouthfeel.  A very unique red CdP.HdR Home

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