Wine Talk

Snooth User: Philip James

Chateauneuf-du-pape recommendations

Original post by Philip James, Aug 26, 2009.

Posted on behalf of a user. c9dp isnt my specialist area, so thought I'd turn it over to the wiser and larger crowd:



Do you have any recommendations for a Chateauneuf-du-pape? We love fully structured, complex wines. This one sounds up my alley, but also one that most would probably feel strongly about...positively or negatively. I found a bottle today of 2004 Perrin & Fils for $26.99. It was rated at 89 (who cares about who rates it....the important thing is whether or not I love it) and a good $10-25 cheaper than the others on the shelf. I have it with me right now.

Any observations on the c-du-p, and perhaps how to enjoy it most? Thanks.


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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 21, 2009.

Ok, so back to work eh?

--Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois - not familiar with

--Chateau du Mourre du Tendre (J. Paumel) Chateauneuf du Pape - not familiar with

--Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape - can have a bit of new wood and fairly modern levels of concentration and density but the wines remain fairly classic, a very successful enlightened traditional style

--Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Chateauneuf du Pape - a lot of wine in the bottle. Big stuff but maybe too big. The Cotes du Rhone on the other hand is consistently one of the best.

--Domaine Gramenon Cotes du Rhone Cuvee des Laurentides - Another great value in Cotes du Rhone, more elegant and earthy than the above

--Domaine Pontifical Chateauneuf du Pape - In some books this might be called an under-performer. I think it's one of the few wines of the region that have simply remained unchanged during the past decade. Priced well and in truth bested in certain aspects by the top Cotes du Rhones but still enjoyable and a touchstone for the region.

--Guigal Chateauneuf du Pape - ordinary, extremely so but it can be a decant value

--Henri Bonneau Chateauneuf du Pape - Should not be on this list. It's a wine that has few peers when made well but falters badly at times. There's a group of producers in the world, Quintarelli and Soldera spring to mind, whose wines are incomparable. They are more easily compared to each other than their peers. These are all winemakers who take great risks to achieve brilliance but sometimes fail.

--Georges Vernay Condrieu les Chaillees de l`Enfer - Has a good reputations, I sold these several years back at retail and tried them over several vintages but I have difficulty mustering enthusiasm for Viognier

--Pierre Dumazet Condrieu Cote Fournet - i am not familiar

--Chapoutier Ermitage les Greffieux Vieilles Vignes - never seen this

--Guigal Crozes Hermitage - can be a good value in a rather simple but well made syrah

--Yann Chave Hermitage - oaky and soapy last time I tried it with little Hermitage character

--Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage 'La Chapelle' - variable and over-priced

--Chapoutier Cote Rotie la Mordoree - modern, nice wine but not what I would consider terribly typical

--Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Cuvee Classique a pretty good value, nice wine nicely made though there was certainly an evolution of style from 1999-2005 which is the last vintage I've tried. These have been rather inexpensive around here.

--Guigal St. Joseph Vignes des Hospice - I've never tried this

--Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de St. Pierre- I haven't tried this for quite a few years. Jaboulet, along with Delas, used to make some of the best Cornas. They bought fruit from all the producer who now bottle their own. Glorious wines made from the 60's through the late 80's at least. Seems like the price is out ahead of quality though.

Reply by dmcker, Sep 21, 2009.

Thanks, Greg, once again. I understand your views even better, now, and find myself quite often in agreement where the wines are those I know, so this will definitely help with those I don't. Particularly appreciate your comments on Bonneau et al.

Reply by Drunk as a Skunk, Oct 2, 2009.

I'm still very new to the wine world, but have just done my own taste comparison. I tried the Melodee du Amour Cotes du Rhone and found it very nice for the price(15.99), however as I drink the cdp Chateau Fortia(38.99), it has a richness, smoothness, relaxed tannin feel than the Cotes du Rhone. Like i said im new, but even in a blind test I'd take the cdp

Reply by WineFlair, Oct 8, 2009.

Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe is great wine that has kept to the old-world style. Chateau de la Nerthe, similarly. You'll hear a lot that these are "solid" or "competent" but not "great" wines and in the larger sense of the word "great,: they aren't. Not huge, not bold, not overwhelming. Greg has a point about Beaucastel - it's an interesting wine, but with about 30% Mourvedre and only 30% Grenache it's really not a CdP in the traditional sense. And there, tradition is meaningful!

Reply by D9sus4, Oct 10, 2009.

Just came from a Southern Rhone wine tasting which focused on CDP wines. There was also vertical tasting of Clos du Mont Olivet "Cuvee du Papet" from 2000-2007(w/o 2001-03). I have to sgree with GregoryDP that the 2007 vintage shows excellent potential. We tried 6 from 2007 that night and all were still too tight to drink yet (even though they were decanted for two hours). These wines will need at least ten years before they're ready to drink. However, the star of the night, and my favorite, was the 2005 Gourt de Mautens Rasteau. Although it is not a CDP as it is from Rasteau which is a Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages, it is still from the same region and tasted like a CDP should taste, with lots of black cherry, tannin, and that earthy, mushroomy taste and smell. It's also organically grown, which I didn't find out until the next day while researching the winery online:

Reply by dmcker, Oct 10, 2009.

Yeah, D9sus4, the 2007 vintage sure seems to be an exceptional one.

The northberkeley people do a good job, don't they?

Reply by JonDerry, Oct 1, 2012.

Wow, what a great old thread here...glad I drug it up.

Got a great CdP reference book recommended to me just's the link to purchase, if interested. Now to study up on this very informative thread cut off 3 years ago, but still very relevant today.


Reply by JonDerry, Oct 1, 2012.

So in reading all of this over, a few producers seem to stand as pretty safe recommendations: Beaucastel (makes me wonder why more CdP producers don't favor Mourvedre & Syrah?), Charvin, Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, and perhaps Domaine de la Janasse, Pegau, and others are worth keeping a beat on if you have enough interest. The Rhone's such a jungle to me.

To those involved in this thread from back in 09', have there been any big changes in your impressions of any of the producers?

I guess I should keep trying Gigondas, also

P.S. Have to say, that 2010 Charvin CdP looks brilliant.

For some background, found this info on what looks like a European wine retailers website, obviously Parker's descriptor's are a bit different than GdP's, but to be expected.



Gerard Charvin and his son, Laurent, represent the quintessence of the small domaine/father and son team. They have only 8 ha. of Chateauneuf du Pape, and half of that they sell off to negociants, keeping only the best lots for the Chateauneuf of Domaine Charvin. What goes into their Chateauneuf is about 82% Grenache and the rest Mourvedre, Syrah, and Vaccarese from their vines averaging about 50 years of age (the oldest being 70 years). Together they combine the experience and patience of Gerard with the wine making brilliance of Laurent, now regarded as one of the top wine-makers in the appellation by Guy Julien, famous owner of the restaurant Beaugraviere in Mondragon and assembler of its unequalled Rhone list.

Words that come to mind in describing the style of Charvin’s wine would include at the top, silky, velvety, and smooth. There are no harsh or dry tannins and they are always impeccably balanced. Descriptors that Robert Parker uses also include seductive, sexy, smoky, blackberry, cherry, hedonistic, flamboyant and blockbuster. These are indeed some of the best examples of the appellation and represent a very unique and extraordinary style that is immediately recognizable, and thus literally an artistic expression.

One of Chateauneuf du Pape’s young turks is Laurent Charvin, who represents the sixth generation of the family to run this estate (which was founded in 1851). Prior to 1990, the entire production was sold to negociants, but the estate-bottled production has gradually risen as consumers have recognized the quality in the bottle (which to me has always come close to what was produced at Chateau Rayas under the late Jacques Reynaud). It is a small estate, with a production of approximately 2,500 cases from their 20 acres of vines, all located in the northern tier of the appellation, next to the grand estate of Maucoil. - The Wine Advocate #185, Oct. 2009

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