The Chateauneuf Du Pape area is more geographically delimited than geologically : It lies on a plateau , but with 5 different soils underneath . On the picture on left , you can see the view from the village , on the Rhone far away .
One of the common characteristics of the vineyards' soil here is this incredible layer of rolled quartz pebbles , many orange or grapefruit sized , that cover the ground . You even wonder how something can grow on such big stones . It is said these stones store the heat at night in the ground . And of course the roots go very deep . These stones were shaped long ago in the Rhone river bed , or by the moving glaciers .
Chateauneuf du Pape was the first Appellation in France , thanks to Baron Leroy of Chateau Fortia , who saw new rules as a way to counter fraudulent practices and declining quality of wine in the region at the time . This was in 1923 . The new rules were : Minimum 12.5 ° alcohol , Hand harvest with selection on the spot , Restricted yields , And a list of grape varieties plus a delimited area ; At last , a tasting panel to check the wines . This was in 1923 and soon to follow was the "Appellation Controlée" system applied to other french wine regions .
__Then we tasted Chateauneuf Du Pape "Bosquet des Papes" 2000 . Nice nose , typical . Very supple , leather , raspberry ,truffle aromas . 13,5 ° . 18,5 Euro .
__Third we tasted Chateauneuf du Pape Domaine de la Fagotiere 1999 . Warm bark . Long tank fermentation at low temperature , no desteming . Very traditional work like it was done in the past in Chateauneuf Du Pape . Normal vats . 13,5 ° . 15,1 Euro . Right : The Chateau overlooking the village and the Rhone valley .
__Last , we tasted Chateauneuf Du Pape Domaine Saint Benoit "La Truffiere" 1998 . Parcelles de vieilles vignes . As it says , from old vines .Aromas of ripe fruits . Goes toward prune aromas . Proportion of 55% grenache and 21 % Syrah , wich is atypical . Syrah gives the color here .