The Templiers originally planted vines in the region in the twelfth century. Two hundred years later, the Papacy moved to Avignon and chose the tiny little appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape as a summer residence. They continued the winemaking tradition, promoting the culture of the vines. Pope John ordered a castle to be built on the hill overlooking the village. This became the “new chateau” (château neuf) or home of the popes, for which the wines of this region and the city itself are named. Neglect and the departure of future popes left the castle in disrepair and in World War II, it was used by the Germans as a lookout point. They attempted to destroy the building after it served its purpose but only the north side was destroyed. Today, only the south part of the castle remains, and it is a historical site in Avignon.
Grenache accounts for 60% of the vines planted here, making it the majority of the blend along with another 12 varietals that are permitted for use in winemaking. There are however rare bottlings of Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge that do feature 100% Grenache, and some of the white CDP wines can be made with 100% Roussane.
Châteuneuf-du-Pape Blanc represents only 5% of the total appellation and is also a blend of up to six varietals. For the reds, most producers will use the three main ones: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, effectively making these “GSM” wines.
Domaine Usseglio & Fils is a 3-generation winemaking family, starting with grandfather Louis who emigrated from Italy to France and produced his first wine in 1949. This is one of the rare and unique whites of Châteauneuf-du-Pape as it is made with 100% Roussane. Loaded with honey, nuts and Turkish Delight, it is very full-bodied with excellent concentration, and texture, due to its ageing on the lees.
Plump and round in the mouth, this is a blend of 35% Grenache Blanc, 35% Roussane, 15% Bourboulenc and 15% Clairette. It shows a lot of broad flavours, ranging from orange sherbet to pear and guava, brown butter to floral and toasted almond notes. Gorgeous, complex and beguiling.
A blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre, this expressive wine opens up with blueberries, passion fruits, garrigue and mint. A full-bodied wine that is creamy and lush on the palate, yet well-balanced despite the 15% abv. The finish is long with notes of mocha and black tea. Pair with wild game, duck, ripened cheeses or spicy dishes.
Cellar for up to 10 years.