Chateauneuf’s Finest

The Traditional & The Modern

By Lucien Michel | December 2018

Although Burgundy seems to be in the headlines at present, with the temperature dropping in Hong Kong, it is the wines from the Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-Pape in particular, that gets my heart pumping! These exuberant and rich wines radiate the heat and herbs of the south.

Perhaps the king of the traditional form of winemaking in the region was the late Henri Bonneau. A master blender, he made individual and iconic wines, creating micro cuvees with unique identities from his various plots in the region. All of his wines shared a richness and concentration while still showing charm and character.

His standard Chateaneuf-du-Pape is delicious, but the micro cuvees are the most sought after. The Marie Beurrier Cuvée is particularly generous, rich, yet complex and approachable when young. The Reserve des Celestins is a wine of quite incredible power that will turn anyone's head! They can age for decades, with intense black fruit that develops a savoury, meaty, and almost saline chracter with enormous complexity that is miles away from the predominantly fruity, modern style of Chateauneufs.

Vieux Telegraphe, on the other hand offers a more accessible style to the traditional Chateauneuf-du-Pape approach. This Domaine is a great pick for value. It is a wine that is meant to age, but I love to drink them young! This superb 2005 is a perfect example of why, with generous bright black fruit, spice and a fresh crack of pepper you can enjoy them whenever you wish, mature or young!

I personally believe the wines of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape offer exceptional quality for the price and you really cannot go wrong.