Our tasting impressions
Not unlike the 2016, this 2018 CDP will reward your patience but its youthful charms are quite impressive. The fruit is pure and robust and the tannins are firm but without hard edges. I like the balance it displays even as it wrestles with itself to come together. Marie and Sébastien's wines show as much improvement over time as any estate I know. This wine should be no different.
About this wine
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the iconic wine of the Southern Rhône region. It translates to House of 9 Popes. This one is 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah & 10% Mourvèdre all de-stemmed. The average age of the vines is 50 years planted in clay & limestone soil.
The bunches are selectively de-stemmed then vinified for 28 days with punching down of the cap. The wine is aged for one year in demi-muids (600L oak barrels).
About the grape blend
A typical blend, often referred to as G-S-M. Grenache the preeminent red wine grape of the Southern Rhône, makes full-bodied, red-fruited wine. It enjoys very dry, hot and windy conditions but the vines produce scant fruit which means great concentration. The Syrah provides structure, savoriness and black fruit, while the Mourvèdre contributes length, tannins and floral notes.
About the vintage
Mild temperatures with lots of rain in the winter and spring plus reduced mistral winds equals high incidence of mildew and decreased yields, particularly for Grenache. But a hot summer and idyllic harvest season with well-stocked water tables meant conscientious farmers could wait patiently for properly ripened grapes.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
Located in the southern Rhône village of Jonquières, the 8-hectare Domaine de L’Arnesque is owned and operated by Marie & Sébastien Pathier. Marie’s family has produced wine here for six generations since 1846.
More than 70% of the property is planted to Grenache and the average age of the vines is over 50 years. Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan also are grown. They farm without chemical treatments. The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. Each grape variety and each plot is vinified separately. Sébastien ferments traditionally with an indigenous yeast in concrete tanks.
This is a lovely, tranquil and pastoral estate and the Pathiers are much the same. They are honest, hard-working people who are 100% dedicated to producing beautiful wines that fully express the terroir of their vineyards.