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Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château Mont-Redon 2012

Red Wine from France - Rhone
A lovely, mature Châteauneuf: full-bodied and rich with a long spice-laden finish.This wine is a Museum Release: thanks to our member-owned co-operative model, our buyers are able to buy wines to mature in the perfect conditions of our temperature-controlled cellars and release them when they are ready to enjoy.
is no longer available
Code: RH36451

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Grenache Syrah Mourvedre
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2028
  • 14.5% Alcohol
  • oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Cork, natural

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

In many ways Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhône just north of Avignon, is the birthplace of the appellation controlée system in France. The Baron Le Roy, owner of Château Fortia, with the co-operation of his peers drew up a set of rules in 1923. Initially the regulations drawn up by the good Baron specified 10 grape varieties which could be used to make the wines, and when official AOC status was conferred in 1936 this became 13, and when revised again in 2009 the number of varieties permitted rose to 18. To be fair, the 18 include variations on varieties rather than adding new ones but it is still a number that represents the pragmatism of the rule-makers in the face of the plethora of grapes used by various growers.

Indeed, although Châteauneuf is famous for its large, heat-radiating galet stones, the soils of the 3,200 hectares of vineyards in the AC are also diverse, ranging from the galets to pebbles, clay, sand, iron-rich limestone, marl, quartzite and sandstone with...
In many ways Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhône just north of Avignon, is the birthplace of the appellation controlée system in France. The Baron Le Roy, owner of Château Fortia, with the co-operation of his peers drew up a set of rules in 1923. Initially the regulations drawn up by the good Baron specified 10 grape varieties which could be used to make the wines, and when official AOC status was conferred in 1936 this became 13, and when revised again in 2009 the number of varieties permitted rose to 18. To be fair, the 18 include variations on varieties rather than adding new ones but it is still a number that represents the pragmatism of the rule-makers in the face of the plethora of grapes used by various growers.

Indeed, although Châteauneuf is famous for its large, heat-radiating galet stones, the soils of the 3,200 hectares of vineyards in the AC are also diverse, ranging from the galets to pebbles, clay, sand, iron-rich limestone, marl, quartzite and sandstone with combinations and variations thereof. Almost all are alluvial, deposited by the shifting course of the Rhône over millennia having been left behind by retreating glaciers, and most are what might be described as impoverished. Many growers own land in different parts of the AC and so possess an assortment of terroirs. The land is relatively flat with the highest altitudes being some 120m above sea-level. The most famous vineyard area is Le Crau, which is covered with galets and on which the renowned Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe is among the owners. Some wines are blends across terroirs, but there are an increasing number of single-vineyard or terroir bottlings.

The common factor to all areas is the heat of the growing season, made even more arid by the action of the mistral winds which carry away moisture. Temperatures during the growing season can reach 40oC, and ripeness in the grapes is rarely a problem, particularly in those terroirs where the galets act as storage heaters, soaking up the heat of the day and radiating it back at night. In fact, Châteauneuf-du-Pape has the highest minimum required alcohol level of any AC in France at 12.5%, though in reality most reds reach 14.5% quite easily. Some growers have planted vineyards with a northerly aspect to reduce the effects of the sun. Grenache, syrah and mourvédre are required under the AC laws to be pruned as gobelet or bush vines, without wires or trellises, in order that vine can shade the fruit to some extent and retain moisture within its shade.

90% of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s production is red, principally utilising grenache noir and often with the support of syrah and mourvédre. The remaining grapes, including white varieties that will make the 10% of production bottled as such or co-vinified with red varieties, are cinsault, counoise, vaccarese, terret noir, muscardin, picpoul noir and blanc, picpoul gris, grenache blanc, grenache gris, clairette blanche and rose, bourbulenc, roussanne and picardin. In theory a producer can use all these varieties in one blend. Château de Beaucastel is one domaine which has used all 13 of the originally specified varieties in their bottlings. Oak is used in reds or whites by many growers to mature their wine though not all do so, and the wood might be new, old, small barrels or huge vats. White wine is made using a variety of the grapes mentioned above. They are usually full-bodied and aromatic, and the best examples can age wonderfully.

With the natural sugars in the red wine grapes being high, it is important that the grapes are allowed to reach phenolic ripeness, in particular that the tannins are balanced. Generally, the vine stems are removed from bunches, and some winemakers use carbonic or semi-carbonic maceration to emphasise fruit flavours.
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Chateau Mont-Redon

Mont-Redon is at the very heart of the Châteauneuf story and is considered to be one of the great names of the appellation. Established in 1344, it is a property with a very long history.

The 100-hectare estate, very large by the standards of its neighbours, is spread over the appellation’s main terroirs, the western limestone-rich slopes and the sandy and stony soils of the Mont-Redon plateau perched high up above the village from which it derives its name. This plateau is a marvellously well exposed expanse of white pudding stones or galets, so characteristic of Châteauneuf. The Château itself is like an old hunting lodge with little in its decor to suggest any leaning towards modernity. The wines at Mont-Redon are outstanding, never excessive, always balanced and surprisingly elegant. There are just two estate wines, one white, one red. Both are made in a modern fruity style that can be enjoyed young but can be kept when they age remarkably well. This is proper Châteauneuf, sensibly-priced.

Mont-Redon also own vines in undervalued Lirac, between Orange and Avignon, where it makes successful wines with real depth of flavour and a touch of Châteauneuf class.

Rhône Vintage 2012

This is a fabulous vintage of sleek thoroughbreds with perfect ripeness and exceptional elegance throughout. As in 2007, the Rhône Valley, and by extension the Languedoc-Roussillon, was spared the fate of most other regions of France, the Mistral wind keeping much of the bad weather at bay.

Cold and wet weather throughout the spring affected flowering and contributed to the low yields harvested following a fine summer. There was just enough rain to perk things up and cool nights maintained the balance of the sugars and acid in the grapes as they developed steadily. The result was perfect with the fruit achieving full phenolic ripeness without bitter tannins or excessive alcohol.

Northern Rhône
Fine, elegant wines were made in all appellations. Ripe, round flavours abound and there is a lovely freshness in the wines.

Southern Rhône
A great vintage throughout with low yields, and outstanding quality of fruit. Tannins are present but perfectly integrated. Châteauneuf-du-Pape deserves a...
This is a fabulous vintage of sleek thoroughbreds with perfect ripeness and exceptional elegance throughout. As in 2007, the Rhône Valley, and by extension the Languedoc-Roussillon, was spared the fate of most other regions of France, the Mistral wind keeping much of the bad weather at bay.

Cold and wet weather throughout the spring affected flowering and contributed to the low yields harvested following a fine summer. There was just enough rain to perk things up and cool nights maintained the balance of the sugars and acid in the grapes as they developed steadily. The result was perfect with the fruit achieving full phenolic ripeness without bitter tannins or excessive alcohol.

Northern Rhône
Fine, elegant wines were made in all appellations. Ripe, round flavours abound and there is a lovely freshness in the wines.

Southern Rhône
A great vintage throughout with low yields, and outstanding quality of fruit. Tannins are present but perfectly integrated. Châteauneuf-du-Pape deserves a special mention. 2012 is a great vintage here with ripe fruit and great structure.

Whites were excellent and, thanks to low yields, there is real concentration of flavour, particularly in viognier dominated wines. As with the reds there is a remarkable feeling of freshness.
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2012 vintage reviews

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