Châteauneuf du Pape wines have always been in my top three favorites along with Bordeaux and Burgundy, but for the holiday Christmas table, Châteauneuf takes the poll-position.
Châteauneuf du Pape literally translates to ‘New Castle of the Pope’ and refers to the Pope’s secondary residence located about 6 miles north of the main palace in Avignon, in the area where the Popes actively promoted viticulture since the beginning of the 14th century. Châteauneuf du Pape became the first Controlled Appellation wine of France in 1923
My Christmas dinner top wine selection this year is the 2012 Château Gigognan Châteauneuf du Pape red.
The Château Gigognan Châteauneuf du Pape Clos du Roi 2012 has gained an extra point from the 2010 vintage by the Wine Advocate; Jeb Dunnuck is raving about the estate and the quality of its wines:
“Kicking off the reds, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Clos du Roi is brilliant, and showed much better from bottle than barrel. Made from 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah that was brought up all in concrete tanks, it offers classic Châteauneuf character in its darker berry fruits, truffle, wild herbs and olive-paste aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, with beautiful richness and depth, it’s an impressive, classic wine that will have 12-15 years of longevity.
This is another estate that seems to be stepping up their game, and I was impressed with these latest releases.”
(Jeb Dunnuck erobertparker.com #215 October 2014)
Wine Advocate 91 points
The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape, Clos du Roi ($35) is also my favorite from Château Gigognan and a must-have for any wine aficionado. The Châteauneuf du Pape vineyards at Château Gigognan, Clos du Roi and centennial vines Grenache at Cardinalice are certified organic by Ecocert since 2009.
The current owners, Anne and Jacques Callet, acquired Château Gigognan in 1987. They completely renovated the château and its cellars and started organic farming of the vineyards.
All conditions for production of highest quality wines have been met:
- Top-notch terroir
- Organic farming
- Completely renovated cellars
- State-of-the-art vinification equipment
In 2011 the world-renowned oenologist Philippe Cambie came on board as the consulting winemaker. Philippe Cambie was named “World’s best oenologist” by Robert Parker in 2010.
This weekend, open a bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape for the perfect holiday wine and food pairing.
Atanas Nechkov, Wine & Spirits Supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwineatanas