Super Chateauneuf Du Pape Tasting featuring Domaine Henri Bonneau and Chateau Rayas with Special Guest Dr. Robert Maliner

Friday, October 23, 2020 - 07:30 PM

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"When it came to writing about wine, I did what almost everybody does - faked it"
 - Art Buchwald

 

 

 

Speaking of Dr. Robert Maliner we have another great event featuring wines from his cellar coming up later this month featuring two of the “Cult” wines from the Chateauneuf Du Pape region, Chateau Rayas and the wines of Henri Bonneau.  These two wineries are the hardest wines to find from the Southern Rhone and to experience 40 year old examples that have been perfectly stored is a real “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity.

I remember the first time I tasted wines from these two producers side by side and it was amazing.   I liked the Henri Bonneau Chateauneuf better in almost every single flight but the Rayas is truly amazing as well.  Just for fun we have included a few others to compare but I think you will find there is nothing like the Rayas and Bonneau stuff once you have experienced these wines you will find some of the others pale in comparison.

Chateauneuf du Pape is one of France’s most prized wine regions and at one time one of the most counterfeited wines on the planet!  It was here that France’s AOC laws originated, they drew up a set of laws to guarantee the authenticity and the origin of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the rest of France followed. 
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The average price of the 1990 Rayas is $2600 and the 1990 Bonneau Cuvee Special is $1500 today.  These two wines are worth the price of admission alone and should be candidates for WOTN.  To me chateauneuf du Pape does not need as much cellar time as other great wines and the 1990 vintage at 30 years of age today should be drinking in their prime.  But, you may be surprised at the old dogs as we also have the Rayas and Beaucastel 1978- a legendary vintage that would be hard to obtain at any price!!

Join us as we experience 12 different Chateauneuf Du Papes going back to the 1978 vintage.  There are only 12 spaces available for this event and the fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $995 + tax.  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

For those of you that can’t make the tasting I have included every bottle of this magical elixir that we have in the store after the info about this event.

 

Super Chateauneuf Du Pape Wine Tasting Featuring
Chateau Rayas and Domaine Henri Bonneau
With Special Guest Dr. Robert Maliner
Friday, October 23rd
7:30 PM

1978 Chateau Beaucastel Chateuneuf Du Pape
1978 Chateau Rayas Chateuneuf Du Pape Reserve
1981 Chateau Beaucastel Chateuneuf Du Pape
1983 Chateau Rayas Chateuneuf Du Pape Reserve
1985 Chateau Rayas Chateuneuf Du Pape Reserve
1986 Henri Bonneau Reserve Des Celestines Chateuneuf Du Pape
1988 Henri Bonneau Cuvee Marie Beurrier Chateuneuf Du Pape
1988 Chateau Rayas Chateuneuf Du Pape Reserve
1990 Henri Bonneau Cuvee Speciale Chateuneuf Du Pape
1990 Chateau Rayas Chateuneuf Du Pape Reserve
1990 Domaine de Marcoux Chateuneuf Du Pape Vielle Vignes
1990 Henri Bonneau Cuvee Marie Beurrier Chateuneuf Du Pape

Menu
Selection of Cheese and Charcuterie
Crispy Sous Vide Pork Belly with Black Cherry Balsamic Glaze on Creamy Cashew Grits
Grilled Swordfish Black Olive and Sundried Tomato Tapenade
Venison Chops Black Cherry and Blackberry Coulis with Tallegio Flan
Black Cherry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

There are only 12 seats available for this tasting which includes dinner, the fee is $995 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

A bit about Chateauneuf Du Pape :
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Alphonse Daudet, the French writer, once called Châteauneuf-du-Pape the "Wine of Kings and the King of Wines."  The wines of this region with the easy sounding name have been legendary for hundreds of years.  In 1309 a French Cardinal was elected Pope Clement V.  Because there was much strife between the French King and Rome, Pope Clement chose to remain in France.  The Pope, formerly the Bishop of Bordeaux, owned his own vineyard in the Graves district of Bordeaux (now known as Château Pape-Clement and one of the better properties of Graves); and he was very interested in cultivating vines in the new papal residence he established in Avignon.  It was really Clement's successor, Pope John XXII, who did extensive planting of vineyards and constructed a castle outside of Avignon, called the Châteauneuf-du-Pape or "new house of the Pope."  This was an affluent time in Avignon; many parties were thrown and much wine was drunk.  Although wine had been grown in the surrounding villages for 150 years, it was the papacy that spread the fame of these wines from Avignon.
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In the 1920's some of the growers at Châteauneuf-du-Pape became really concerned about the amount of "foreign" wine being sold as Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  The late Baron Le Roy, the proprietor of Château Fortia, one of the great estates of the district, drew up a set of laws to guarantee the authenticity and the origin of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  These laws later became the model for France's Appellation Contrôllée laws and were later copied by the Germans, the Spanish, and the Italians.  Although the laws have been in force for some years, it is common knowledge that there is still a great amount of illegitimate wine labeled Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  The local growers and estate owners realize that one of the problems is that 80% of the wine is made and bottled at facilities outside the district; this obviously leaves room for tremendous abuse.  We have found many Châteauneuf-du-Papes from shippers to be variable in quality, and we recommend only those wines that have been estate bottled within the district.  In order to make these wines more identifiable to the consumer, the growers use a bottle with the old papal coat of arms.  We enthusiastically recommend these wines and urge that you avoid almost all the plain-bottle négociant wines (shipper's blends).
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Besides the great difference between estate-bottled and négociant wines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the grape composition of the wines further complicates the picture.  As many as thirteen different varieties can go into the make-up of a Châteauneuf; each grower swears by the percentage of the grape he uses.  Since different grapes contribute different characteristics to the overall wine (Grenache and Cinsault for warmth and mellowness; Mourvèdre and Syrah for solidity and color etc.), it is understandable how different estates with different grape compositions can produce very different wines.  Further complicating everything is how the harvest conditions affect the grapes - all of which ripen at slightly different intervals.  It is easy to see why the variation in quality is broader in Châteauneuf-du-Pape than perhaps any wine district in France. 

 

 

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