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2016 Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Elsewhere $45) SKU #1392076

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WE 94 WS 94 RP 93
VN 91-93 JD 91
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

One of the stars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is Château de Vaudieu. A revitalization of this property came about under Laurent Brechet, who has made great strides advancing this noble estate. Laurent and his brother Julien (who runs Domaine des Bosquets) are the grandsons of Southern Rhône icon Gabriel Meffre. Though from an historic lineage of wine makers, both have taken a modernist approach to winemaking, but for them both, it is all begins with the terroir. And Vaudieu has some of the best. Bordering Chateau Rayas to the north, the subsoils are primarily sandy with limestone and marls and two plateaux of red clays. Several bottlings are done to best express each individual terroir but the most classic is the regular CdP, which Laurent believes is the summation of his property and its most traditional expression. Composed of primarily Grenache with some Syrah, the vine age ranges between 40-70 years of age. It is a savory and sumptuous wine that has all the hallmarks of great winemaking intermixed with the classic profile of the region.

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Staff Reviews

  • Lauren Seward
    By: Lauren Seward
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a powerful red that really evolves as you drink it. It was a little tight upon first opening, but opened up perfectly about an hour in. 2016 was a remarkably good vintage for southern Rhone, (CDP in particular) with a huge diurnal swing during growing season that resulted in a slow ripening process. Wine Spectator graciously referred to the vintage as the "new benchmark". This estate CDP walks miles with a diverse range of aromas: smoke, dark fruits, cooking herbs, and a tight minerality. The palate is smooth and concise with a zippiness on first sip that evolves into bold notes of black fruit with an earthy/garrigue component. Don't discredit this for the summer! This is a lighter, more refreshing alternative for those who prefer big and bold reds but are looking for something more season-appropriate to pair with BBQ.
  • Kaj Stromer
    By: Kaj Stromer
    K&L Staff Member
    As the summer months roll on, Chateauneuf-du-Pape may not be the first wine to come to mind. However, I'd argue that it may be one of the most appropriate reds this time of year. Most of the hearty fare you'll grill this season is a natural match for Chateaneufs wild and savory flavors and most CdPs are lighter bodied than your "go to" Cabernet Sauvignon. The '16 Vaudieu has enough structure to stand up to steaks, ribs, trip-tip, or your east coast London broil. But with a slight chill on the bottle it is both refreshing and adds a herbal component to your meal that just screams "match made in heaven".
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    The Brechet brothers are behind several of the hottest projects in the southern Rhone, from Domaine des Bosquets in Gigondas and Plateau des Chenes in Lirac. The crown-jewel in the portfolio is Vaudieu. This 18th century estate has one of the three original castles residing on it from that bygone era. I visited this property in 2018 and met with Laurent Brechet. We toured the property and his amazing cellar, which has gorgeous conical concrete tanks for fermentation. The air of modernity surrounds this historical estate. We tasted through the range of the 2016s and 2017s at the time and I was struck by how forward yet balanced his wines were. Laurent believes in the power of his individul terroirs and is one of the rare few in the region who does single parcel bottlings. Almost Burgundian. The 2016 regular or "traditional" Chateauneuf is what Laurent calls the "summation" of the property. It is composed of the three major grapes, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre and each is grown on a site that best suits their needs. Retasting the 2016 recently was quite the journey back in time from when I visited a few years ago. The wine has integrated and started to shed some of its fruitier overtones and more of the classic profile is starting to emerge. It is still a lusty wine with flavors of raspberry coulis, creosote potpourri. This will have a few more years to go before it hits its peak but what a sensation now!


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