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Located about a five-minute drive outside the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape along the road that leads to Courthezon, you will find Château de Vaudieu. It is one of three 18th century Chateaux located in the appellation, tucked into a small valley surrounded by hills and plateau. It is at the intersection of several major terroirs: sandy soils to the north, pale limestone and clays centered around a forested hillock, and two large plateaux of somewhat overexposed galets. The estate had a great reputation during the 19th century from exporting wines all over Europe. In 1955, Gabriel Meffre purchased this once historic estate. At the time, there were only 25 hectares of vines, and under his leadership, the estate reached 70 hectares – something very rare in the appellation.
Today Gabriel Meffre's grandchildren, Laurent Brechet, and his brother, Julien, run this ascending Domaine. Through their mother, Sylvette, they inherited several properties when Gabriel died in 1987, including Château de la Coulerette in Provence. Since taking over the property, Laurent has continued to expand plantings, especially on the underutilized limestone terroir. He has enlisted the assistance of Philippe Cambie (2010 oenologist of the year, Robert Parker) in the winemaking, and while the wines are modern in style, they showcase their terroirs beautifully.
Chateau de Vaudieu is 550m south from the historic and formidable Chateau Rayas.
Grenache represents more than 80% of the domain, with old vines of 40 to 70 years old. The reds are made with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Grenache from the plot called Val de Dieu is the oldest of the Domain.
Aging: 18 months in new oak half-muids of 600l
Tasting Notes: 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre. The wine is a dark purple color, the nose is complex with some flavor of cherries and also smoked notes of cacao and cedar. The powerful mouth is balanced between roundness and liveliness. To drink within 20 years or more in big glasses preferably.
As always, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Val De Dieu has a modern vibe without losing its Southern Rhône soul. A blend of 58% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 12% Mourvèdre that’s brought up 30% new demi-muids, it offers a pure, full-bodied, perfectly ripe style that carries lots of black raspberry and cassis fruits, notes of peppery spice, some background oak, silky tannins, and a great finish. As always, the purity of fruit is top-notch. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 15. ~95 Jeb Dunnuck
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