Grape varieties:70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre
Southern Rhône wines are almost always blended around Grenache to bring balance, complexity and richness of aroma to the wines. Thirteen varietals are permitted. The main varieties are:
Grenache – Medium ruby colour and high alcohol. Delightfully fruity (red fruits) in youth, spice: prune notes with age. Medium dry tannins that soften with age.
Syrah – Deep colour with purple shades. Very tight but velvety tannins giving good ageing potential. Violet and/ or black fruit aromas. With age the aromas evolves towards wild aromas of leather, truffle, and towards liquorice
Mourvèdre – Dark brick red, high tannin brings additional ageing quality to the blend. Sometimes animal notes in its youth become fruity (dark berries, leather, undergrowth, pine, liquorice) and spicy with age.
Cinsault – High proportion in Rosé. Elegant, fruity aromas, light colour and tannin (in reds).
Grenache Blanc – Low acidity giving smoothness and length on the palate with floral aromas and notes of apple and pear.
Clairette – Brings acidity and freshness to the blend. Floral, complex aromas of rose and acacia with notes of white peach and exotic fruit.
Roussanne – Brings finesse and delicacy and a great deal of elegance. Good acidity in the northern Rhône enabling the wine to age well. Complex aromas of honeysuckle with touches of apricot, hawthorn or narcissus.
Bourboulenc – Brings good acidity to the blend. Floral aromas.
Marsanne – Medium acidity, with high aromatic potential in young wines. Complex and subtle floral aromas of acacia, dried fruit and nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut).
Viognier – Medium colour with low acidity and very fruity (pear) in the Southern Rhône. In the Northern Rhône, it brings suppleness and smoothness. Great aromatic potential – acacia, honeysuckle, violet, almond blossom, linden, and with age, musk, honey and dried apricot.
Terroir: The grapes are drawn from many small plots of diverse terroir which brings additional complexity to the wine – Combinations of red clay, gravel, rounded stones, sand, marl and cobalt.
The vast majority of wines in the Southern Rhône are aged in neutral tanks such as concrete and stainless steel in order to preserve the delightful fruity characteristics of Grenache. Where oak is used, it is often only used for a proportion of the blend. The majority of wines in the Northern Rhône however, are aged in oak.
The amount of oak flavour in the wine depends on:
The following classifications are used for wines listed on this website:
No Oak – The wine is aged in neutral vats or large, old oak barrels that impart no oak flavours. These wines will be fruit-forward and bright in their early years.
Light Oak – Oak flavours are present but do not dominate the wine when young. The wine may only be partly aged in smaller oak barrels and/or the barrels may have been used for one to three prior wines.
Prominent Oak – Oak flavour is a noticeable feature of the wine, particularly when young. Oak also imparts oak tannins into the wine which can increase the ageing potential of the wine, thus allowing the wine to develop complex aromas over many years.
Drinking time: 2 to 15 years
Reviews: JD 94 pts, JS 93 pts. See below
The ratings of leading reviewers are listed here with their written comments detailed at the bottom of the page.
Remember that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Each wine reviewer has personal tastes and, as hard as they try, preferences can be reflected in the numerical score a reviewer gives to a wine. This is why is important to read their comments rather than judge a wine by its numerical score.
JR = Jancis Robinson. Score out of 20 points.
RP = Robert Parker, Wine Advocate. Score out of 100 points.
JD = Jeb Dunnuck. Score out of 100 points.
WS = Wine Spectator. Score out of 100 points.
W&S = Wine and Sprits. Score out of 100 points.
WE = Wine Enthusiast. Score out of 100 points.
VM = Vinous Media. Score out of 100 points.
JS= James Suckling. Score out of 100 points.
Shipping costs are calculated per box of 6 bottles. Each box can contain a mixed selection of wines.
Jeb Dunnuck (JD)
2019 vintage (94 points): I loved the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape from this brilliant team, and it should be snatched up by readers looking for a classic, impeccably made Châteauneuf du Pape to drink over the coming decade or more. Ripe black cherries, blackberries, Provençal garrigue, pepper, and Southern France street market-like nuances all emerge on the nose, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a seamless, elegant texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. Don’t miss it. The blend is 70% Grenache and 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre.
James Suckling (JS)
2019 vintage (93 points): I love the nose of very ripe red and black fruit with hints of bitter chocolate and many spices. Rich, concentrated and complex, this is very impressive Chateauneuf with very sweet fruit, balanced by stacks of fine tannin. Long, powdery, dry finish with some real complexity. A blend of grenache, mourvedre and syrah.
The domaine is now run by the fourth generation of the Maret family, Veronique and Caroline. The original vineyards were purchased in 1912 by Eugene Maret as a gift for his wife. The estate was enlarged by their son, Fernand and his son, Michel was the first to produce wine in 1973. The estate includes 19ha in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 6ha in Vacqueyras and 2ha of Côtes du Rhône.
The terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape includes two large plots of quite distinct terroir which produce two quite different cuvées, “Mourre des Pedrix” (sandy soils) and “Les Hautes Brusquières” (stoney soils). The main Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvée Domaine” is produced from a blend of many small, plots of varying terroir in the north east of the appellation. The Vacqueyras wine is grown on a stoney, clay plateau. The majority of the wines are fermented and aged in very “foudres” (large oak casks).