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Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Guigal 2007

Red Wine from France - Rhone
From an exceptional vintage in the southern Rhone, this has benefited from ageing here in our cellars in Stevenage. Full, complex, multilayered Châteauneuf, showing great class.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: RH33581

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Grenache/Garnacha
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2025
  • 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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Rhône Vintage 2007

2007 was an outstanding vintage in the Rhône. The quality shone right across the appellations north and south from the humblest Côtes-du-Rhône to the grandest Châteauneuf.

Conditions throughout the vintage were remarkable. April was like high summer and flowering was a month early. Many were expecting a particularly early harvest but after hot June and July weather a little rain fell and cool August days were unkind to tourists but allowed the grapes to finish ripening slowly, particularly as night time temperatures were chillier still. The Mistral winds blew and there was hardly a drop of rain in the Rhône as August gave way to September. Blue skies and cool nights predominated during the harvest, and those who picked later rather than earlier were rewarded with the best wines as phenolic ripeness caught up with sugar levels.

Northern Rhône

2007 is unquestionably a great northern Rhône vintage which, unlike the more Burgundy-like 2006, is thoroughly Mediterranean in style and flavour....
2007 was an outstanding vintage in the Rhône. The quality shone right across the appellations north and south from the humblest Côtes-du-Rhône to the grandest Châteauneuf.

Conditions throughout the vintage were remarkable. April was like high summer and flowering was a month early. Many were expecting a particularly early harvest but after hot June and July weather a little rain fell and cool August days were unkind to tourists but allowed the grapes to finish ripening slowly, particularly as night time temperatures were chillier still. The Mistral winds blew and there was hardly a drop of rain in the Rhône as August gave way to September. Blue skies and cool nights predominated during the harvest, and those who picked later rather than earlier were rewarded with the best wines as phenolic ripeness caught up with sugar levels.

Northern Rhône

2007 is unquestionably a great northern Rhône vintage which, unlike the more Burgundy-like 2006, is thoroughly Mediterranean in style and flavour. Syrah ripened to perfection but without excess and those cool nights meant wines with beautiful balance.

Southern Rhône

Everything was perfect in 2007, with just enough rain to see the vintage through and the Mistral wind playing a vital role in September when it cleared the skies throughout the harvest. It shares many of the traits of the great 1990 vintage but is on an even grander scale.

Those cool nights that contributed to the success of the reds has also helped to ensure a fine vintage for white wines, with fragrance and freshness underpinning the ripe fruit flavours. The best will reward patience.
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2007 vintage reviews

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