2016 Domaine Durieu Chateauneuf du Pape
Yes, it is true – this is actual Chateauneuf du Pape for under $20. This isn’t some area of France that tastes like Chateauneuf. Nor is it a collection of grape varieties from the U.S. that is imitating Chateauneuf. This is through and through, the real deal.
For some of you, this may be enough. Jump to the bottom and order away. But for others…
I realize many of you will continue to be doubtful. How can a $19.99 Chateauneuf du Pape come to exist? And still be tasty? With those doubts in mind I will start with the non-romantic backstory to the price and then move on to the wine itself.
Here is the secret – Domaine Durieu is a rather new Chateauneuf du Pape producer. By “rather new” we mean 1976 when Lucile Arvil, mother of Paul Durieu, gave him a few hectares of vines to get him going. So it’s not like this domaine isn’t tried and true, but in an area where some people have been around making wine for 400 years, it means you’re the younger brother. As such, Domaine Durieu adopts a more “modern” style of going to market – trying to go as direct as possible with very few (or limited) middlemen. So before you calculate the QPR of this wine, go ahead and add 33% EACH for the importer and wholesaler, and then 25% more for the tariff. That would be the regular price. But you aren’t getting the regular price.
The non-romantic pricing stuff aside, here is a rock-solid, beautiful-drinking Chateauneuf du Pape that is going to blow you away:
Spicy black fruits, garrigue, pepper and wet stones effusively pour from the glass, inviting the taster to jump right on in to pure enjoyment. The palate continues, being led by fruit characters of ripe black cherry, plum, hints of rosemary herbs, tapenade and anise. The style of going to market maybe modern, but the wine making practices are traditional. Durieu makes CdP in a traditional style, and this cuvee showcases the intensity of the raw materials. And on the finish this shows – a lush and smooth richness extends the drinking experience into a seamless ride of pleasure. To sum up: this is delicious Chateauneuf du Pape.
And yes, the deal is amazing. Grab some to drink right now and cellar some for up to ten years – it’s one heck of a treasure.
Still need a second opinion? No worries. Here is some critical acclaim:
“The impressive 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 3% Cinsault and 2% Counoise, all aged in concrete. It shows lovely cherry-raspberry fruit aromas, ample weight and richness on the palate and a creamy texture. The tannins are supple, and the finish is long, picking up hints of cola and dried spices. A solid choice for drinking over the next decade.” – Robert Parker
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