Chateauneuf in Summer?

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Other than on a fluke (or a too-good-to-be-true scenario), what other world class, Grand Cru level wine can you buy – at 10-15 years of perfectly-cellared age – for under $60? Never mind for even $35-$40? What other world class wine is at its peak at 10-15 years of age? What other mature, world class wine is as universally pleasing for wine geeks and novices alike? Please let me know what I’m forgetting (the other exceptional wines that might fit this bill – a few Loire reds, Beaujolais – are much rarer; at least we’ve never had a comparable list to offer, and they’re also arguably a lot geekier). Parker and others have been banging on for years about the great values in Chateauneuf – here’s some proof.

In any case: never mind that it’s summer. If we can get your wine to you safely, you will find it gracious and graceful with a lot of the food we eat in season (otherwise it can live at 55 degrees in our cellar until shipping temps return). These aren’t the 100 point bombs; our friend who has sold them to us far prefers the wines that he says always make him dream of Provence – ripe fruit, plenty of freshness and cut, and haunting aromas of garrigue – herbs in the hot sun, brambly fruit, stony earth.

All hail Harry Karis!                                    

An Important Post-Script: I’ve looked at it before – the book has been on our shelves for years, but until this week when I started really using The Chateauneuf-du-Pape Wine Book, by Harry Karis, I hadn’t understood that it’s a truly remarkable and magisterial work. To my taste it’s a model for a wine book, with excellent maps, great photos, detailed technical information, and useful and highly descriptive text that’s fun to read – I have found myself dangerously distracted. Anyone who gives a damn about wine needs a copy, and if you like Chateauneuf I don’t see how you can do without it. All of the info that follows with the list of wines has been cribbed from it (and what I've cribbed doesn't even hint at the richness of the book). I am sincerely grateful for this, but more than anything I hope that Mr. Karis might be tackling another region in print. Jamie Wolff

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Domaine Paul Autard 2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Cote Ronde

24 hectares of vines. Cote Ronde: Grenache 50%, Syrah 50%; aged 18 months (including malolactic) in new barriques. Bottled unfiltered.

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Barroche 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape CDP

12 hectares of vines. Chateauneuf: mostly Grenache, with some Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Syrah; aged in old large barrels. Bottled unfiltered. Bottled unfiltered.

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Barroche 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Signature

Signature: 81% Grenache, 11% Syrah, 8% Cinsault; aged 18 months in older, large barrels. Bottled unfiltered.

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Barroche 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Fiancee

Fiancee: Grenache 50% (from 100 year old vines), Syrah 50%; aged 18 months, half in concrete and half in 1-2 year old barriques. Bottled unfiltered.

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Bastide St Dominique 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hesperides

8.7 hectares of vines. Hesperides: Grenache 50%, Syrah 25%, Mourvedre 20%; aged in small old barriques.

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Brunel - Les Cailloux 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Centenaire

Centenaires: Grenache 80%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 10%, from vines 30-100 years old; aged in a combination of large old barrels, and 1-3 year old barriques. Bottled unfiltered.

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Brunel - Les Cailloux 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Centenaire

Centenaires: Grenache 80%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 10%, from vines 30-100 years old; aged in a combination of large old barrels, and 1-3 year old barriques. Bottled unfiltered. 

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  • $99.99

Brunel - les Cailloux 2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

16 hectares of vines. Chateauneuf Grenache 65%, Mourvedre 20%, Syrah 12%, “others” 3%; aged in 1-3 year old barriques. Bottled unfiltered.

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Brunel - les Cailloux 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

16 hectares of vines. Chateauneuf Grenache 65%, Mourvedre 20%, Syrah 12%, “others” 3%; aged in 1-3 year old barriques. Bottled unfiltered. 

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Brunel - les Cailloux 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

16 hectares of vines. Chateauneuf Grenache 65%, Mourvedre 20%, Syrah 12%, “others” 3%; aged in 1-3 year old barriques. Bottled unfiltered. 

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Charvin 2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

8.2 hectare of  vines; only one bottling is produced: Grenache 85%, Syrah 5%, Mourvedre 5%, Vaccarese 5%; aged for 18 months in concrete, and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $69.99

Charvin 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

8.2 hectare of  vines; only one bottling is produced: Grenache 85%, Syrah 5%, Mourvedre 5%, Vaccarese 5%; aged for 18 months in concrete, and bottled unfiltered.

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Charvin 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

8.2 hectare of  vines; only one bottling is produced: Grenache 85%, Syrah 5%, Mourvedre 5%, Vaccarese 5%; aged for 18 months in concrete, and bottled unfiltered.

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Charvin 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

8.2 hectare of  vines; only one bottling is produced: Grenache 85%, Syrah 5%, Mourvedre 5%, Vaccarese 5%; aged for 18 months in concrete, and bottled unfiltered.

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Clos des Papes 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape

31 hectares of vines, one botting of red (and a white) is made. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 65%, Mourvedre 20%, and Syrah 10%, with 5% Counoise, Vaccarese, and Muscardin; aged in large old barrels, and bottled unfiltered

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Clos St Jean 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

43 hectares of vines. Chateauneuf: Grenache 75%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 4%, Cinsault 3%, Muscardin and Vaccarese 3%, aged 12 months, the Grenache in tank and the rest is partly new barriques, bottled unfiltere.

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Clos St Jean 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes

The Vieilles Vignes is bottled exclusively for the US. Karis describes it as having a bit more Grenache than the Chateauneuf classique.

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Cristia 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Renaissance

Renaissance is Grenache 60%, Mourvedre 30%, Syrah 10%, from 50-100 year old vines, aged in barriques, with 25% new. Bottled unfiltered.

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Cristia 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes

12 hectares of vines. The Vieilles Vignes is 100% Grenache, from 80-100 year old vines, aged 18 months in older barriques, and bottled unfiltered.

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Cristia 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Renaissance

Renaissance is Grenache 60%, Mourvedre 30%, Syrah 10%, from 50-100 year old vines, aged in barriques, with 25% new. Bottled unfiltered.

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Ferrand 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

5.5 hectares of vines, one bottling produced: Grenache 90%, with 10% Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault; aged 12-14 months in concrete and stainless steel, bottled unfiltered.

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Giraud 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition

Giraud: 18 hectares of vines; Tradition is Grenache 60%, Syrah 35%, Mourvedre 5%; aged 18 months in concrete and steel, with the Syrah in barriques; bottled unfiltered.

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Grand Veneur 2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines

Origines: Grenache 50%, Mourvedre 30%, Syrah 20%, from 65+ year old vines; aged in new barriques and bottled after a light filtration.

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Grand Veneur 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Origines

Origines: Grenache 50%, Mourvedre 30%, Syrah 20%, from 65+ year old vines; aged in new barriques and bottled after a light filtration.

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Grand Veneur 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape

14.5 hectares of vines. Chateauneuf is Grenache 70%, Syrah 20%, Mourvedre 10%, aged 12 months in barriques, and bottled with a light filtration.

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Grand Veneur 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Origines

Origines: Grenache 50%, Mourvedre 30%, Syrah 20%, from 65+ year old vines; aged in new barriques and bottled after a light filtration.

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  • $54.99

Grand Veneur 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Origines

14.5 hectares of vines. Chateauneuf is Grenache 70%, Syrah 20%, Mourvedre 10%, aged 12 months in barriques, and bottled with a light filtration.

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Grand Veneur 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes

Grenache 50%, Mourvedre 40%, Syrah 10%, from vines of 40-100 years old; aged in new barriques and bottled after a light filtration.

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Janasse 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin

14 hectares of vines. Chaupin is 100% Grenache from vines of 60-80 years; aged 14 months with 70% in large barrels and the rest in barriques, of which one-quarter are new. Bottled unfiltered.

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Janasse 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes

Vieilles Vignes: Grenache 85%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 3% + 2% others; aged 14 months with 75% in tank and the rest in barriques, of which 40% are new. Bottled unfiltered.

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Marcoux 2001 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes

Vieilles Vignes: Grenache 98%, + 2% Cinsault and white varieties; aged 16-20 months in cement and partly in barriques; bottled unfiltered

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Marcoux 2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Chateauneuf: Grenache 80%, Mourvedre 10%, 5% each Syrah and Cinsault; aged 16-18 months in a combination of concrete, large oak, with the Syrah and Mourvedre in barriques; bottled unfiltered.

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Marcoux 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes

Vieilles Vignes: Grenache 98%, + 2% Cinsault and white varieties; aged 16-20 months in cement and partly in barriques; bottled unfiltered.

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Milliere 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes

15 hectares of vines, one red (and one white) produced: Grenache 60%, and 10% each Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, from vines 80-100 years old; aged 18-24 months in concrete and large older barrels; bottled unfiltered.

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Clos du Mont Olivet 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Papet

Cuvee du Papet is Grenache 80%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 10%; aged 18 months in tank and medium older wood barrels, bottled unfiltered.

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Mordoree 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Reine du Bois

With 4.5 hectares in vines, Mordoree is one of the smallest producers in Chateauneuf.  Reine du Bois: Grenache 80%, Mourvedre 10%, Syrah, Counoise, and Vaccarese 10%, from 60+ year old vines; aged 10 months, 60% in tank, the balance in barriques, of which 40% are new. Bottled unfiltered.

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  • $79.99

Mordoree 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Reine du Bois

With 4.5 hectares in vines, Mordoree is one of the smallest producers in Chateauneuf.  Reine du Bois: Grenache 80%, Mourvedre 10%, Syrah, Counoise, and Vaccarese 10%, from 60+ year old vines; aged 10 months, 60% in tank, the balance in barriques, of which 40% are new. Bottled unfiltered.

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  • $59.99

Mordoree 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Reine du Bois

With 4.5 hectares in vines, Mordoree is one of the smallest producers in Chateauneuf.  Reine du Bois: Grenache 80%, Mourvedre 10%, Syrah, Counoise, and Vaccarese 10%, from 60+ year old vines; aged 10 months, 60% in tank, the balance in barriques, of which 40% are new. Bottled unfiltered.

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  • $64.99

Pegau 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee

18.5 hectares under vines. Reservee is Grenache 85%, Syrah 9%, Mourvedre 4%, and 2% others. Aging is 18 months in large old barrels; the wine is bottled unfiltered.

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Pegau 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee

18.5 hectares under vines. Reservee is Grenache 85%, Syrah 9%, Mourvedre 4%, and 2% others. Aging is 18 months in large old barrels; the wine is bottled unfiltered.

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Pegau 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée

18.5 hectares under vines. Reservee is Grenache 85%, Syrah 9%, Mourvedre 4%, and 2% others. Aging is 18 months in large old barrels; the wine is bottled unfiltered.

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Pegau 2007 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée

18.5 hectares under vines. Reservee is Grenache 85%, Syrah 9%, Mourvedre 4%, and 2% others. Aging is 18 months in large old barrels; the wine is bottled unfiltered.

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Pontifical 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

: 16 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 75%, Syrah 10%, and 5% each Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise. Aged 12-14 months in new and old barrels; bottled unfiltered.

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Royer 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Prestige

4.2 hectares of vines. Prestige is Grenache 90% and 5% each Syrah and Mourvedre, from 80-100 year old vines, aged in a combination of tank and barrel. Bottled unfiltered.

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Sabon 1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Prestige

16 hectares of vines. Prestige is Grenache 60%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 10%, and the balance Cinsault, Terret Noir, Vaccarese, and Muscardin, from vines over 90 years old. Aged 65% in large barrels, and 35% in mostly new barriques. Bottled unfiltered.

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Sabon 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige

16 hectares of vines. Prestige is Grenache 60%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 10%, and the balance Cinsault, Terret Noir, Vaccarese, and Muscardin, from vines over 90 years old. Aged 65% in large barrels, and 35% in mostly new barriques. Bottled unfiltered.

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Sabon 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Prestige

16 hectares of vines. Prestige is Grenache 60%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 10%, and the balance Cinsault, Terret Noir, Vaccarese, and Muscardin, from vines over 90 years old. Aged 65% in large barrels, and 35% in mostly new barriques. Bottled unfiltered.

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Sabon 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve

16 hectares of vines. Prestige is Grenache 60%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 10%, and the balance Cinsault, Terret Noir, Vaccarese, and Muscardin, from vines over 90 years old. Aged 65% in large barrels, and 35% in mostly new barriques. Bottled unfiltered.

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  • $44.99

Tardieu-Laurent 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes

Tardieu-Laurent works with purchased fruit. The Vieilles Vignes is Grenache 80%, and Syrah and Mourvedre 10% each; aged 24 months in partly new barriques, and bottled unfiltered.

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Usseglio, Pierre 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Mon Aieul

Mon  Aieul is Grenache 95% and Syrah 5% from vines over 80 years old. Aged 14-16 months in concrete, and bottled unfiltered.

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Usseglio, Pierre 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Mon Aieul

Mon  Aieul is Grenache 95% and Syrah 5% from vines over 80 years old. Aged 14-16 months in concrete, and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $64.99

Usseglio, Pierre 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

21 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache75%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 6%, Cinsault 5%, and 4% Counoise and Muscardin. Aged 18-24 months in large barrels and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $39.99

Usseglio, Pierre 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

21 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache75%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 6%, Cinsault 5%, and 4% Counoise and Muscardin. Aged 18-24 months in large barrels and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $34.99

Usseglio, Pierre 2007 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Mon Aieul

Mon  Aieul is Grenache 95% and Syrah 5% from vines over 80 years old. Aged 14-16 months in concrete, and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $119.99

La Vieille Julienne 2000 Châteauneuf du Pape

10 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 60%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 10%, and Counoise 5%, from vines 70-100 years old. Aged in large old barrels and barriques for 12-18 months; bottled unfiltered.

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La Vieille Julienne 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape

10 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 60%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 10%, and Counoise 5%, from vines 70-100 years old. Aged in large old barrels and barriques for 12-18 months; bottled unfiltered. Plus a bonus real-live tasting note!

From 70-100+ year-old vines in the northern part of the appellation. Farmed with biodynamic methods, destemmed, fermented with native yeast, aged in foudres, with moderate SO2 addition before bottling. Dark ruby robe with only a hint of bricking. At 11 years old, the nose is showing dark plummy fruit, roasted meat, wet stone, licorice, garrigue, and spices. The palate has fairly dense black fruit, giving way to savory herbal and mineral notes. Rich, but fresh and still a bit tannic, this displays a good sense of earthy minerality on the juicy finish. Starting to drink well now, though I'd venture this has a few years yet to really shine. John McIlwain

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Vieux Donjon 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape

14 hectares of vines; one red (and one white) produced. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 70%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 10%, and 5% Counoise and others. Aged 18 months in cement and large barrels, and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $89.99

Vieux Donjon 2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

14 hectares of vines; one red (and one white) produced. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 70%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 10%, and 5% Counoise and others. Aged 18 months in cement and large barrels, and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $59.99

Vieux Donjon 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

14 hectares of vines; one red (and one white) produced. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 70%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 10%, and 5% Counoise and others. Aged 18 months in cement and large barrels, and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $49.99

Vieux Donjon 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

14 hectares of vines; one red (and one white) produced. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 70%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 10%, and 5% Counoise and others. Aged 18 months in cement and large barrels, and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $49.99

Vieux Telegraphe 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape

54 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 65%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 15%, and 5% Cinsault and others. Aged 18-20 months in concrete and large barrels, and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $64.99

Vieux Telegraphe 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

54 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 65%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 15%, and 5% Cinsault and others. Aged 18-20 months in concrete and large barrels, and bottled unfiltered.

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  • $69.99