Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Vieilles Vignes


100% Grenache. From 80+-year-old vines on classic sandy, gravelly soils laden with the stones known as galets roulés.  They are planted in a flat, north-facing parcel in the lieu-dit of Bois Sénéchaux and are certified organic. Texier has been working with vineyard owner/farmer Jean Riché and these vines for over 20 years. The bunches are harvested by hand and fermented as whole clusters with native yeasts and no sulfur in open-top concrete tanks. Maceration is 8-10 days without any extractive techniques. The wine is aged in used demi-muids with no racking for 18 months and bottled without fining or filtration and with a small dose of sulfur.

93 points
"The last time I spoke in person with Éric Texier, he was wondering if it was going to be possible for him to continue to produce Châteauneuf du Pape, due to the unrelenting nature of the heat found in the appellation from global warming. I am glad he has continued (at least for the time being) to continue to produce this wine, as it is always one of the finest wines from the appellation. His 2020 Vieilles Vignes version is made entirely from grenache, with the vines more than eighty years of age and planted in very stony soils in a north-facing parcel. The wine comes in at 14.5 percent octane in the warm summer of 2020 and offers up a deep and complex bouquet of black raspberries, smoked meats, pepper, fruitcake, stony soil tones, a touch of coffee grounds, woodsmoke and a dollop of garrigue in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, ripe and full-bodied, with superb depth at the core, fine soil signature and grip, ripe, chewy tannins and a long, complex and very well-balanced, youthful finish. There is just a hint of sur maturité to the flavors on the backend here, but the alcohol is very nicely managed and the wine will certainly age very well indeed. 2033-2075. 93. "
John Gilman,
View from the Cellar
November 2023

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