There’s something dreamy about the idea of the South of France, especially in summer. Despite its Mediterranean climate, the South’s Rhône Valley, where today’s wine hails from, is dry in the summer months. The region’s famous Mistral Winds literally blow moisture away, making the beautiful countryside comfortable for people (and for grapes). It’s a marvelous place to go for a luxurious summer vacation.
If you can’t get there this summer, you can imbibe as if you’re there. Today’s94-point 2019 Crous St Martin 'Hommage a l'an 1879' Chateauneuf-du-Pape comes from the Southern Rhône, from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, a small commune just north of Avignon. The region’s name means “new castle of the pope” because the summer home of the Avignon popes was there in the 1300s. Apparently, it’s been a great place for a summer vacay for a very long time.
We can’t be sure what the popes were drinking back then, but we are sure this Grenache-based wine will transport you to the South of France. Grenache is THE grape of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and it’s blended so often with Syrah and Mourvèdre that it's commonly shortened to GSM blend, andnowhere does GSM better than Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Crous St Martinharmoniously blended 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, grown in the 95-point 2019 vintage. They take great pains to ensure each variety is harvested exactly when it should be, so the Syrah comes first, the Grenache comes next. Finally, when the Mourvèdre comes off the vine, it’s perfectly mature and ready to join the others. The result is a wine that’s silky and elegant, full of thejammy fruits of Grenache and herbaceousness and spice coming from the Syrah and Mourvèdre.
Decanter says it’s “gorgeously silky with the essence of Châteauneuf fruit,” and punctuates that with 94 points. Jeb Dunnuck, along with giving it 93 points, predicts it will “drink nicely” for10 to 25 years. This wine can transport you to the South of France this summer or the summer of 2044, your choice.
It’squintessential Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and one of the best value CdP we’ve seen in a long time,just $34.95, over $10 off.