2019 Domaine du Père Pape Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France
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ABOUT THIS WINE
An ambitious cuvée fit for ageing. The aromas of jammy black fruits and eucalyptus brought by the syrah give this cuvée all its complexity. The palate is warm and reveals fine and tight tannins with peppery notes. Hand-picked harvest in 20 kg crates to limit crushing of the berries, sorting by hand in the plot and in the cellar, crushing and destemming, vatting by gravity, co-fermentation according to maturity, fermentation duration between 25 and 30 days in 100 hectoliter concrete vats, controlled temperature, extraction by delestage and pumping over, indigenous yeasts, malolactic fermentation.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Vignobles Mayard, nestled in the heart of the prestigious village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is a family run estate with a long history in the appellation. At the end of the 19th century, when phylloxera had all but destroyed his vineyards, Gratien Mayard contemplated moving to the United States and starting over. But his devotion eventually won out and instead he chose to stay and re-plant his vineyards, vine by vine.
Today the estate is run by fifth generation winemaker Françoise Roumieux along with her sister Béatrice and brother Didier. They have preserved the traditions started by their family and continue to make improvements by modernizing the winery and committing to environmentally friendly agriculture. The property is comprised of 43 hectares and roughly 40 parcels spread across highly diverse terroirs, some of them planted over a century ago.
The family began organic conversion in 2017 and obtained certification in 2020. When walking through the vineyards, the famed carpet of galets roulés (rolling rocks) - the remnants of Alpine glaciers that have been rounded over millennia by the Rhône river - are underfoot but no longer visible due to the incredible vegetation growing in and around the vines. In response to rising temperatures and the regular threat of draught, Francois Mayard made the bold decision to cease tillage of her vineyards and increase both wild and seeded plant-life growing among the vines. This embrace of regenerative agriculture has improved water retention and lowered the temperatures in the soils, thus slowing the ripening process in even the highest of temperatures. As Françoise explains, “It is necessary to respect the soil and the people who work in the vines, as it is the future for everyone.“