Chapoutier 2011 Croix de Bois Chateauneuf du Pape (93ST 92WA)
- Size: 750ml
- Item Code: WN14091813
- Vintage: 2011
Vivid ruby-red. Sexy red fruit liqueur, potpourri and Asian spice aromas show impressive power and an energetic, pinot-like character. Sappy, tangy and precise on the palate, displaying lively raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of spicecake. Closes on a mineral note, with superb clarity, verve and length.” (ST)
“With more richness and depth, and showing the classic fruit-forward and up-front profile of the terroir, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois is 100% Grenache that comes from the southeastern part of the appellation. Loaded with notions of strawberries, kirsch, underbrush and garrigue, it has medium to full-bodied richness with a supple, fleshy and hedonistically styled feel on the palate. As with the La Bernardine, I don’t see this making old bones, yet it should provide ample pleasure for upward of a decade. Drink now-2021. While more known for his top-flight Northern Rhone efforts, Michel Chapoutier produces a bevy of brilliant Chateauneuf du Papes, as well as a number of high quality, value-priced wines from throughout the Southern Rhone (and Languedoc).Looking first at his Marius wines, these are straightforward, yet impressively made wines that offer easy-drinking. They also sell for a song and over-deliver. “ (WA)
The Rhône can be divided into two regions with different viticulture philosophy: Northern Rhône focues on one principal grape — Syrah; Southern Rône produces blended wines, allowing as much as 13 grape varieties in some bottles. Thus Northern Rhône wine tends to have an intense, smokey character while the Southern wine assumes a rounder personality (The juicy Grenache grape is often used as a dominant blend).
Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, Crozes-Hermitage, St. Joseph, and Cornas are the most well-known Northern Rhône communes focusing on Syrah. There are fine differences in these subregional wines. For example, Hermitage Syrah is well known for its deep color, intense nose, and full-bodied structure. Crozes-Hermitage, the largest appellation the northern region, offers softer Syrah, blending it the lighter Marsanne and Roussanne. Hidden amid these Syrah focused communes, the small Condrieu appellation produces Viognier. Because of the low production volume, Condrieu commands highest price for its dry white wine.
Majority of the wine in Southern Côtes du Rhône is red, though ~15% is dedicated to rosé and white. Key appellations include Coteaux du Tricastin, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueryas, Gigondas, Tavel, Beaumes-de-Venise, Côtes du Ventoux, and Côtes du Lubéron. As mentioned earlier, southern Rhône reds are blended with many varietals. For example, reds from Châteauneuf-du-Pape (a well-known appellations) are composed of Grenache (50-70%), Syrah (10-30%), Cinsault, Mourvèdre and other reds (~20%) and Marsanne other white varietals (5-10%). In addition, Côtes du Ventoux is an appellation famous for its Vin Doux Naturel — a delicious dessert wine made with the Muscat grapes.