Text Size:-+
02.25.2005

2001 Domaine du Galet des Papes, Vieilles Vignes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France

Domaine du Galet des Papes takes its name from the large galet stones (literally "roller" or large round stones) which lie in piles over the extent of the twenty-some-odd acres farmed by Jean-Luc Mayard and first established before the turn of the century. From the cellars built by his father in 1929, he produces only 3,500 cases of wine.

Mayard farms a bunch of small parcels in the Chateauneuf appellation, the youngest of which contains vines with an average age of 50 years. He produces two wines only " the first a traditional Chateauneuf-du-Pape that is about 80% Grenache and the rest split between the typical varietals of Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Vaccarese and others.

For the last 15 years he has also been producing this second wine, made from a single section of his vineyard that has been worked for 100 vintages. These twisted and tortured 105 year old vines have been buffeted by the Mistral winds that come off the Mediterranean and sweep up over the low mountains in the south of France. They yield exceptionally small amounts of fruit (1.5 tons per acre) which possess extremely concentrated flavors. The mix in the vineyard is not the typical mix for the appellation, but Mayard doesn't care. He bottles it in the same proportion it appears in the vineyard: 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah.

The harvest is done by hand and then entire clusters of grapes, stems and all, are lightly crushed and put into concrete vats for 18 to 25 days while fermentation takes place. The wine is then aged in large oak barrels called foudres, some of which are decades old and none of which are new. After 18 months and three complete rackings to eliminate sediment, it is bottled non filtered and non fined.

Tasting Notes:
This wine is a medium to dark garnet color in the glass with a spicy nose of green and black peppercorns, black tea, and a hint of cassis and red berries. In the mouth it is powerful and a little raw for a Chateauneuf, with primary flavors of cassis, black raspberries, sandalwood, and a bit of the black tea as it tapers to a very long finish. The wine has an excellent mouthfeel and wonderful balance to it, all the while managing to be a bit more burly than one might expect.

Food Pairing:
This is a pretty intense wine that could be served with any kind of roast or grilled red meats. I served it at a wine dinner with a smoky roast squab and olives over a bed of wild mushrooms and greens.

Overall Score: 9/9.5

How Much?: $34

This wine can be purchased from several Internet merchants.

Comments (2)

bonus wrote:
10.04.05 at 8:04 PM

You are invited to check out some helpful info dedicated to price ...

Chad Zimmerman wrote:
03.15.06 at 1:20 PM

Your site is new to me and it came to me via a google search for Galet des Papes Vieille Vignes. By happenstance, I work for New Castle Imports, the importer of this CDP. It's always great to hear good things about Mayard and his wines. They are a throwback to a time gone by whereby they don't destem the fruit and foudre is the only source for elevage. While the 2001 is outstanding (we think it's his best since this selection came into being), the wine should really blossom with 4-7 more years aging, becoming silky and seductive. In addition, food pairings can become very exciting and diverse. I once had the wine, to our owner's apprehension, with a filet of Durade on a bed of sauteed onions and napped with saffron sauce. It was nothing short of perfection and a surprise many at the table!

Merci en tout!

Chad

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)
Yes
 

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets US 2014 Vintage - Early, Fast, Eventful Vinography Images: Big Shadow Come Explore The Essence of Wine with Me in Healdsburg: October 30th, 2014 Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 5, 2014 Another Idiotic California Law Screws Wineries Vinography Images: Vineyard Reflections The Fake Tongue Illusion and Wine Tasting 2014 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 21, San Francisco Cool Beauty: Tasting the Wines of the Western Sonoma Coast

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.