This one's for anyone who has ever wondered what the heck Châteauneuf-du-Pape represents.  We've all been there...

These words literally translate to "The Pope's New Castle" in English.  Fairly confusing in relation to wine unless you've done your history homework.... Well, we've done it for you.  

Pope John XXII was built a castle in Avignon France, a village that now lies in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  It served as his home during the 14th Century.  Although grapes from the surrounding area were already being used in winemaking, the arrival of the village's second pope saw a drastic increase in both the planting of winemaking grapes, as well as the winemaking itself.  In fact, when the AOC system was instituted in 1936, Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the very first to be recognized.

Today there are over 18 varietals and variations growing in the region, that produce about 100,000 hectolitres (equivalent to 13 million bottles) per year.  About 94% of these are Red wine blends of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, and Syrah (predominantly Grenache).  The remaining 6% are White blends consisting mainly of Granache Blanc and Roussane.  The production of Rose is not permitted.


Alright I'm done teaching, on to the wines.  Below we've reviewed two wines, one wasn't really it's true self therefore we decided not to review it.  In the spirit of DWC honesty, we've included it below regardless.




Domaine Paul Autard 2007 Cuvee La Cote Ronde


This bottle is off, judgement reserved. Better bottles could be fantastic


This reductive style CDP has a beautiful bouquet with notes of plum, prune and current. On the palate the tannins are refined and very enjoyable. The acid is high and is certainly made for food. Unfortunately I believe this bottle was flawed so cannot rate it. 


We know this bottle isn’t tasting like it should.  We’d love to taste some more Paul Autard soon… we’ll see what we can get our hands on. 


Domaine Le Mourre 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape


Intense strawberry preserves unfold into a well made, strait-forward, medium bodied CDP with hints of garrique and fresh leaves. Still energetic, this is a solidly made entry level CDP to enjoy until 2018-2019.


Overall - 87.5
Hedonism - 88
Fun to drink - 88
For the Classic - 85
In Pursuit of Balance (IPoB) - 83



This Grenache/Syrah blend is a beautiful wine that is constantly evolving while in the glass. Notes of plum, prune, and cassis linger in the glass with hints of dust and cedar. On the palate this wines acidity makes the fruit pop along with subtle mineral notes. This is a great entry level Chateauneuf du Pape.


Overall - 89
Hedonism - 86
Fun to drink - 88
For the Classic - 89
In Pursuit of Balance (IPoB) - 85



Something is…. interesting about this wine.  The nose doesn’t really suggest how it tastes.  It’s dusty, smells slightly old, and isn’t really enticing.  But wait until you taste it.  The fruit comes out with figs, raisins, slight blackberry, and an ample acidity to balance it all out.  It’s got a great mouthfeel.  Don’t get me wrong it’s not excessively smooth, but it’s fun to drink.  All I kept thinking about is how this would pair well with duck under a fruit reduction of some sort.  I like it.
Don’t run after first approach, because the palate rewards you for sticking around.


Overall - 88
Hedonism - 87
Fun to drink - 91
For the Classic - 89
In Pursuit of Balance (IPoB) - 90


In Closing...

Alright we're finished talking your ears off.


Drop us a line!

Let us know in the comments below if you've had any of the wines reviewed, or any others from Châteauneuf-du-Pape.