Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine de Cristia 2006

A wine I absolutely loved the other day was Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine de Cristia 2006.........grabbed from my wine room at the 11th hour just before dinner was prepped, this bottle was just popped and poured and it turned out to be a real beauty!  

I wanted something good but not too serious or too pricey and I stumbled across the straight Châteauneuf from Domaine de Cristia 2006 – I didn’t even know it was there, which is one of the joys of my unorganised wine rack. I buy lots of Southern Rhône wines and it is currently the red that I drink the most of at home. This particular bottle was a real treat but I did find it very unlike the Châteauneufs I have been drinking recently, mainly from the so called “great” vintages like 2005, 2007, 2009.
Unfortunately, the 2006 vintage in the Southern Rhône is completely overshadowed, mainly because it is squashed between the two critically acclaimed vintages of ’05 & ‘07. The 2005 vintage produced structured, backward wines which were tannic, complex, classic and very long-lived, built for the cellar. Then you had the 2007 vintage which produced massively intense, concentrated, super ripe, flamboyant and very showy wines – again very highly rated. For my money though, for drinking today, I would ignore both of these “superstar” vintages and go straight for the charming, balanced, elegant, fresh and most importantly, extremely enjoyable 2006’s. I actually visited the Southern Rhône to taste all the 2006’s and looking back I remember them being such a joy to taste. Across the board they were so wonderfully balanced with a lovely purity and beautiful freshness but I obviously didn’t really know what the future would hold for them – now with hindsight, I wish I had bought lots more.

Written by Sean Burbridge

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