A visit to Chateauneuf du pape at Domaine Saint Laurent

Chateauneuf du pape is a dynamic southern Rhone region, making France’s most potent red wine (after Bordeaux and Burgundy). Well known for its premium red wine (90% of the production), a small amount of white wine production can also be found. In 1923, Baron Le Roy of Chateau Fortia enclosed the grape growing area, thereby laying the foundation stones for the entire AOC (Appellation Origin Controlee) system. Chateauneuf du pape is famous for being one of the first to obtain the AOC in 1936.

Domaine Saint Laurent is an independent winery in the Rhone Valley. We at Nickolls and Perks have been working with them for a few years. The domaine is situated in Courthezon, in the heart of the Chateauneuf du pape area.

For 5 generations, this wine making family has produced premium wines in the natural wine making tradition. The instigator of the domaine was a man called François Sinard. At the beginning of the 20th century, he decided to focus on his vineyard. He was already producing quality wines, providing the Archeveche of Avignon with white Chateauneuf du pape wine for Sunday services. Currently, Laurent (winemaker) and his brother Nicolas are looking after the domaine.

Production

Laurent makes wines like Vin de Pays (red, white and rose), Cotes du Rhone (red and white) and Chateauneuf du pape (red and white).

Grapes

The red and rose wines are made mainly with Grenache noir grape and other Mediterranean grapes (Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault).

The white wines are blends of Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Clairette.

Wine making

The harvesting is exclusively by hand to avoid damaging the grapes and creating oxidation.

As soon as the production arrives at the winery, the grapes are destemmed (partially or totally), depending on the wine range (Cuvee). The fermentation method is in a stainless steel tank of French oak barrels.

Wines from the domaine

IGP Principaute d’Orange “Objectif Mars” (non vintage).

Made from the Marselan grape (Crossing from Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache Noir). It is an easy to drink wine bursting with dark fruit and soft juicy tannins.

2016 Cotes du Rhone Villages Tamardiere.

Made from Grenache Noir (70%), Mourvèdre (30%). This wine is great value for money, produced from an outstanding vintage. It is full bodied with a certain finesse and can be drunk in the moment or kept for ageing.

Chateauneuf du pape red 2016

Made from Grenache (90%) and Syrah (10%).

Chateauneuf du pape Passion des Papes red 2016

Made only with Grenache Noir and vinified in oak barrels. If you like a full bodied wine with dark cooked fruit, you should try this one, with a hint of toasted bread and a vanilla character.

This is a great wine to keep in your cellar for 3 to 5 years.

Awards

Chateauneuf du pape 2016 Gold medal in Avignon Wine competition 2019

Tamardiere 2017 Gold medal in Avignon Wine competition 2019

Matt Walls Rhône Expert and DWWA 2019 Regional Chair for the Rhône

Walls judged that 2016 has largely delivered, describing the best wines of the vintage as ‘having it all’ and ‘not to be missed’ for collectors. ‘I’ve tasted nearly 1,500 wines from the 2016 vintage, and it’s clear that this is a very good year in the northern Rhône – and truly great in the South.’

Written by Lionel Periner

AdministratorA visit to Chateauneuf du pape at Domaine Saint Laurent

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