It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We spent a few days there last month, and were reminded just how varied and special the terroir is. From gray-black sand, to blindingly white calcareous shards, to the famously round galets roulées, there’s nowhere else quite like it.
While many wines from the south of France lack the structure for long aging, good Chateauneuf-du-Pape ages very well; indeed, many counsel waiting five or so years after the vintage. (We’re not so doctrinaire. Much Chateauneuf drinks remarkably well young, including that from our exciting new producer the Domaine Nalys. See the current Futures issue.)
Today’s offer is for a wine that fits the traditional aging rules well. Winemaker Jérôme Quiot hasn’t even released his Duclaux 2007 yet, and we have enjoyed bottles of Duclaux with more than 15 years in the cellar. The Duclaux Chateauneuf 2006 is just entering its drinking window — six years out from the harvest, it’s still young, dense and very powerful. There are unquestionably great years ahead for this wine, but it can also provide great pleasure today, served in a carafe with some big glasses and a big meal.
Duclaux’s Chateauneuf has plenty of Mourvèdre from centenarian vines, so there’s an impressive concentration and depth. Look for meaty, earthy notes alongside the fruit, and be sure to let it open up if you drink it soon. But whether you drink it now or later, it’s sure to be a wine to remember.
DUCLAUX CHATEAUNEUF 06
Ansonia Retail: $44
Holiday Catalog Price: $38.95