Closely Guarded - White Chateauneuf du Pape
Located in the southern Rhone valley, the Châteauneuf du Pape AOC is one of the earliest official wine appellations, established in 1929. Both town and appellation lend their name to it being chosen as the summer residence for the Pope's court during the early 14th century. (Translating roughly as 'The Pope's new castle')
Chateauneuf du Pape itself differs from other Rhone appellations in that 13 types of grape are permitted for use which can create impressive combinations, yet the focus of the area has always primarily been on its red wine for which it is most famous for. However if you are prepared to delve, a small quantity of white is also produced, making for 5% of the total production. Up to six different grape types are permitted for use in white wine from Chateauneuf du Pape, including Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Roussanne, Piquepoul and Picardan.
Our featured white wine from Chateauneuf du Pape comes from Domaine Pontifical. Family owned since the 1920s, this 15-hectare vineyard is now run by Francois Laget. Heralded by a golden colour and an intense nose that announces white fruit flavours of peach and apricot, the palate is warm with hints of white flowers and almonds. The wine is a blend of four of the six grapes; a 60% majority of Grenache Blanc, with smaller quantities of Roussanne, Clairette and Bourboulenc in addition.
When serving, we recommend at least an hours breathing for this wine, decanting if possible. With food, we advise pairing it with white meat in particular, or to truly appreciate it, by itself!