2017 Domaine La Boutiniere Chateauneuf-Du-Pape Grande Reserve Vielles Vignes La Crau
2017 Domaine La Boutiniere Chateauneuf-Du-Pape Grande Reserve Vielles Vignes La Crau A deep ruby purple color with extraordinary aromas of blackberry, cassis, dark cherry, and anise, intermingled with scents of oriental spices and a zesty of minerality. Well-structured with soft integrated tannins. This elegant and full bodied wine is capable of ageing for 15 to 20 years.
The gateway to French wine is the Southern Rhone, and the benchmark for Southern Rhone is legendary Chateauneuf du Pape. With all of the tasting and research I do, my own personal collection consists of top Chateauneuf producers for three reasons. First, they age better than any red wine in the world. In great vintages, they enter their optimal drinking window early, and plateau in excellence for anywhere from 15-50 years. Secondly, they are some of the most food friendly wines in the world. They have richness, density, fruit concentration, and some of the most beautiful aromatics that rival only great Red Burgundy, but they do not hit you over the head with tannin and alcohol. You can have a table full of friends and family, with varying foods and palates and Chateauneuf du Pape will always fit like a glove. And third, they taste so, so good.
Now here’s the downside: they can be expensive. They can be misunderstood. But lucky for our customers, we know what we are doing in the Rhone. I want you all to taste today’s wine, the 2017 Domaine La Boutiniere Chateauneuf-Du-Pape Grande Reserve Vielles Vignes La Crau because you will see just how good Chateauneuf du Pape can be from one of the greatest vintages of the modern age (95 Parker’s WA ) and from one of the most critically acclaimed single vineyards in all of Southern Rhone. Supply is dwindling, importers are scared to bring wines into the US with huge price increases, but customers are craving Rhone.
Domaine La Boutiniere was founded in 1920 by Félix Vidal. This family-owned company is now run by Fourth-Generation winemaker, Frédéric Boutin, who has been the owner and winemaker since 1997. Domaine La Boutiniere has 27 acres of vineyards in 8 different parcels within Châteauneuf-du-Pape, including the Crus of La Crau, Le Boucou, Coste Froid, and Roumiguière. Today’s wine comes from the plateau of La Crau, one of the most famous vineyards in Chateauneuf du Pape. Made famous by the Brunier family and their famous wine Vieux Telegraphe as well as the wines from Chateau La Nerthe, one of the most age worthy Chateauneuf du Papes in existence. The plateau is the highest point in Chateauneuf du Pape with some of the oldest vines in the appellation. This selection Grande reserve comes from a 100 year old parcel of extraordinary vines in the famous terroir of the La Crau vineyard site in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This parcel grows at an elevation of 394 feet above sea-level on clay and limestone soils covered with large quartz pebbles called “Galets.” The wine reminds me of Vieux Telegraphe’s Chateauneuf du Pape, but with more accessibility and at nearly half the price. The 2017’s are starting to come into their drinking windows in 2022, and if you want to see how good these wines can be with such short time in the bottle, grab a case of this wine. It will continue to age out over the next 10-15 years.