We concentrated on Chateauneuf-du-Pape today and what a great day it was.
We had one of our best tastings at Chateau Vieux Lazaret of Jerome Quiot. He’s the 13th generation at
the winery, the oldest winery in town. In all they have 280 hectares here, in Gigondas and in Provence, and produce 1.5 million bottles, of which 95% is exported.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape is one of 16 crus in southern Cotes du Rhone and as many as 13 grapes can be used in the blend, although grenache is the primary grape. Lazaret uses traditional cement vats as well as stainless steel. The whites spend 6 months in stainless steel and oak and the reds 12 months in cement and oak.
We were served 6 wines, accompanied by a cheese pairing: Blanc 2014, a blend of 4 white grapes-grenache blanc, bourboulenc, clairette, roussane; Chateau Duclaux 2011 white, fermented and aged in oak, from white grenache and clairette, a deep gold color; Chateauneuf-du-Pape white 2002, an outstanding 14 year old wine still fresh and vibrant; Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2013; Duclaux 2010 from grenache and mourvèdre which was full-bodied, round and luscious; and Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1996, a real treat to taste an aged wine. The tannins were gone but the wine was a delight.
Lunch was alfreaso at the Verger des Papes, in the heart of the town. We walked from the highest point
in town with beautiful views of the entire area and walked down a short distance to the restaurant, one of the classics in town. Our meal was accompanied by St. Henri white Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015 and Clos des Brusquières 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, a juicy wine with red fruit aromas, soft tannins and a long finish.
We ended the day with a visit to the magnificent Pont du Gard aqueduct. Regretfully we couldn’t visit a few of the other cru towns, but during the cruise portion we will visit Tavel.