2008 Skalli Grand Vin du Rhone ‘La Tiare du Pape’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Mission Codename: Return Of The Crown
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of Skalli Grand Vin du Rhone’s (Mason Bouaachon) latest Châteauneuf-du-Pape for our operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Skalli Grand Vin du Rhone (Mason Bouachon)
Wine Subject: 2007 La Tiare du Pape Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Winemaker: Christian Abry
Backgrounder: For three years running, we have been fortunate to have showcased successive vintages of today’s delicious wine. The wines were so well-loved, that we issued an annual Wine Spies Intrigue Award, making the 2006 vintage our Operative’s Choice, Top International Selection. Today, we are proud to bring you the latest vintage, the fantastic 2008 La Tiare du Pape Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape (CDP) is among this spy’s favorite Rhone wines. With each wine being a distinct blend of up to 13 different varietals (usually lead off with Grenache, France’s work-horse grape, with the trend leading to more Syrah and Mourvedre based blends). The name Châteauneuf-du-Pape dates back to the 14th century during the time of the dual papacy.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape comes in two distinct styles, the more traditional ’Old World’ (like this one) are dark, rich and spicy with firm tannins that lend these wines to cellaring; and the more contemporary fruit-forward style more reminiscent of New World wines.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Brilliant and deep ruby red with a dark ruby heart that glistens when held to the light. The deep color extends to the very edge and when swirled, randomly spaced thin legs ring the side of the glass.
Smell – Classic old-world character with layers of restrained red and black fruit that blend with soft earthy undertones, anise and both dried and fresh green herbs and a touch of hot and exotic spice; all framed by a present but not overbearing toasted oak.
Feel – Smooth and textured on entry, this dry full-bodied wine has finely grained and both soft but sturdy tannins spreading over the palate as the vibrant acidity, softly etched minerals and spice adds to the sturdy but elegant structure.
Taste – Tangy and tart red and black cherry, plump and dried plum and blackberry fruit are framed by toasted and spicy oak and hot and exotic spice. Dried green herbs, earthy undertones, anise and toasted nutty hints adds depth and complexity.
Finish – Long to finish, with the red and black fruit lingering over the spice and oak notes as hints of cherry pit and spice invite another sip.
Conclusion – The 2007 Skalli Grand Vin du Rhone La Tiare du Pape Châteauneuf-du-Pape is classically Rhone in character, old world on the nose, palate and in flavor with a elegant feel and while restrained in its fruit, not so much that you’re left wondering. Perhaps youthful if enjoyed now, so decant or let it breathe as you pair it with classic southern French cuisine such as Merguez sausage or herb crusted roast chicken. Also a nice wine to pair with aged cheeses. Cellar for the next five years.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Skalli Grand Vin du Rhone in Châteauneuf-du-Pape can be seen in this satellite photo.