Domaine Berthet-Rayne Chateauneuf du Pape 2016
The Castle of the Nine Popes, as it translates, is the most famous Appellation in the Southern Rhone. Traditionally, these wines can be made from a blend of upto 13 grape varieties but the most important of these are Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre and Cinsault. The embossed crest on the bottle can only be displayed on wines bottles at the Domaine where the wines was made.
Many Chateauneuf du Papes at this level are produced by carbonic maceration, a technique where berries are fermented whole, without crushing which extracts vivid colours without structure making wines that are vibrant but perhaps lacking substance. This Chateauneuf is more traditional though only part of the wine production goes into 2 year old oak so the wood aging effect is muted. Here the emphasis is capturing those warm stone scents of the vineyard and the hard herbs rosemary, thyme and lavender that are so typical of this region and marry them up with the dark cherry and almost tobacco leaf flavours of the wine.
Slow cooked red meat dishes and red meat grills