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Château de Vaudieu, `Closerie de Vaudieu` Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2019
This wine is dark ruby in colour. It has lively cherry notes on the nose, a touch of liquorice and hints of black pepper. On the palate, it is full-bodied and the ripe tannins gently support the cherry, cassis and herb character on the finish.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhone, France
58% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 11% Mourvèdre, 6% Cinsault
The 18th century Château de Vaudieu has been in the Bréchet family for over 50 years and today is run by Laurent Bréchet, the grandson of the original owner. The name 'Vaudieu' originates from 'Vallée de Dieu', or 'Valley of God', a reference to the beauty of the area around Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Vaudieu has 70 hectares of vineyards in total, of which 60 hectares are planted with red varieties on prized sites that are located just east of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, neighbouring the vineyards of the famed Château Rayas.
Grenache is a black and thin skinned grape variety which ripens late in the growing season. Acid and tannins can be variable depending on growing conditions and cropping levels, but tend towards the low-medium end of the spectrum. Originating from Spain (Garnacha) is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world, and is most renowned from Sardinia, South of France, Australia, and throughout Spain.
Situated north-east of the town, the vineyards surround those of Château Rayas. Spread over 70 hectares the soils vary greatly, from sand to quartz (galets) and clay/limestone outcrops. This diversity of soil and exposure adds complexity to the blend, with the fruit from the sandier soils lending aromatic elegance and that from the galets giving power and intensity. As well as the main varietals, the `Closerie de Vaudieu` also contains five grapes indigenous to the Rhône Valley, including Counoise, Vaccarèse, Muscardin, Terret noir and Picpoul noir. The vines are over 65 years in age and the fruit gains incredible levels of concentration as a result.
After an early bud burst in April, flowering was gradual with good conditions across all vineyards. A few rainy episodes at the end of spring increased the disease pressure but fortunately summer was hot, with high temperatures in June. Good water reserves meant the vines did not suffer hydric stress and the grapes were harvested at optimum ripeness between 12th September - 2nd October.
The fruit was hand picked, sorted, destemmed and crushed before fermentation at 25°C in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Fermentation lasted approximately 30 days, with regular pump-overs made daily.