Skalli Grand Vin du Rhone

2007 'La Tiare du Pape' Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Red Blend •Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC

France: Rhône Valley

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Mission Codename: Crowning Glory

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of Mason Bouaachon’s newest Châteauneuf-du-Pape for our operatives

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Maison Bouachon

Wine Subject: 2007 La Tiare du Pape Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Winemaker: Christian Abry

Backgrounder: For the last two years, we have been fortunate to have showcased successive vintages of today’s wine. The wines were so well-loved, that we issued an annual Wine Spies Intrigue Award, making last years vintage our Operative’s Choice, Top International Selection. Today, we are proud to bring you the latest vintage, the fantastic Maison Bouachon 2007 La Tiare du Pape Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape (CDP) is among this spy’s favorite Rhone wines. With each wine being a distinct blend of up to 13 different varietals (usually lead off with Grenache, France’s work-horse grape, with the trend leading to more Syrah and Mourvedre based blends). The name Châteauneuf-du-Pape dates back to the 14th century during the time of the dual papacy.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape comes in two distinct styles, the more traditional ’Old World’ (like this one) are dark, rich and spicy with firm tannins that lend these wines to cellaring; and the more contemporary fruit-forward style more reminiscent of New World wines.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deep garnet with a deepening heart of black cherry color. At the edges, the wine shows off fine ruby hues. When swirled, tall and ultra-skinny legs start high on the glass. To add intrigue, these legs disappear completely, and a second set of plump legs crawl their way down the glass – in a display that I have never witnessed.

Smell – Candied red cherry and raspberry leap from the glass. These are followed by soft spice, strawberry, leather, anise and blueberry tart. After some swirling, additional aromas of red flower petals, cedar and vanilla appear.

Feel – Medium-bodied on initial entry, weighty across the mid-palate and fleshy. After a moment, the wine seems to expand in the mouth as its fullness is felt across the entire palate. A soft dryness begins at the front of the mouth and works its way gradually backward.

Taste – Lush and darkly flavorful, with robust blackberry and smoky plum leading the way. These are accompanied, closely, by black cherry, cassis, supple leather, mineral black spice and soft oak.

Finish – Ultra-long and very flavorful, with all flavors tailing off evenly and smoothly. After a while, flavors dwindle and a soft mineral spice characteristic remains, with subtle hints of dark cherry and plum.

Conclusion – I had the great fortune to taste the past two vintages of this wine. While I loved the 2005 over the 2006, I enjoyed this wine – the 2007 La Tiare du Pape Châteauneuf-du-Pape – even more! With a slightly more robust character than past vintages, this wine shows off a more dark and dusky character. The wine is dynamic, from the visual intrigue presented by its unusual legs (see, look, above), to its layers of flavors and aromatics. Not as juicy as the 2005, this wine seems almost like a more bold, serious – and refined – big brother to its younger sibling. If you love great Châteauneuf, this wine is certain to delight your senses.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Jean Philippe Trollet

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Wine should exhibit the character of the Terroir of its origin.


AGENT RED: Greetings, Jean Philippe. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 ‘La Tiare du Pape’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

WINEMAKER: I’m very pleased to have our wine featured on The Wine Spies.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

WINEMAKER: There is a long and rich tradition of winemaking in this region, the legacy influences my winemaking decisions. I try to make the best wine I can while maintaining the tradition and reputation of Chateauneuf du Pape.

RED: Who do you make wine for? For people who enjoy good wine and good food, of course.

WINEMAKER: For people who enjoy good wine and good food, of course.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

WINEMAKER: This wine is made from old vine Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre – three classic Rhone grape varieties. It has rich fruit and notes of spice, herbs, and earthiness. The 2007 season was very kind to Chateauneuf du Pape, the flavors and tannins are very expressive.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

WINEMAKER: I am thinking of a loin of lamb rubbed with olive oil and crushed garlic, rosemary and thyme then grilled. Okay, now I’m hungry.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Châteauneuf-du-Pape so special?

WINEMAKER: Chateauneuf is a classic wine region with rich history, not only in the history of France and the papacy, but in winemaking. The appellation is close to the Mediterranean Sea, yet with a mountain air influence that creates cool nights. The rocky soils and hilly terrain create stress for the vines that leads to concentrated flavors in the wines.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

WINEMAKER: Bottling some 2009 wines in anticipation for the harvest this fall.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

WINEMAKER: In France, we always enjoy wine with food, and so I suggest to open this bottle in the course of a meal, while relaxed, in good spirits with good company!

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

WINEMAKER: I hope you enjoy this wine. Please visit our winery in Chateauneuf du Pape near the charming town of Avignon. A bientot!

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Maison Bouachon in Châteauneuf-du-Pape can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

In XIVth century when popes moved in Avignon, they were used to spend their summer time in Châteauneuf du Pape, this explains the village name overhang there is ruins of popes’ castle. They promote (permit the development) of wine production and vineyards in the area, moreover under John XXII reign. Referring to this story this cuvee name is “La Tiare du Pape” meaning the pope’s crown.

Châteauneuf du Pape is the jewel and the roots of Maison Bouachon, established more than a century ago in
summer papal residence.

About This Wine:

Ruby colour with violet tints. Blackberry and red stone fruit (cherry and plum) with underlying wood notes. On the palate, the wine is rich with subtle tannins. It may be cellared from 8 to 10 years or enjoyed now as a young wine.

Vintage: 2007 was a good year for growth with a warm, pleasant spring. The difference in temperature between day and night (especially in the second fortnight of August) helped to make wine rich in colours and expressive aromas of fresh fruit.

Vineyard Soil: Several kilometers to the north of Avignon, on the rocky, sun-scorched hills and terraces swept by the Mistral, is the famous vineyard of Châteauneuf du Pape. The soil is composed of clay and limestone; it is covered with quartz round stones. The Alpine diluvium (quartz stones) have a heat-regulating effect: they store up the heat of the day and return it during the night, creating a well-known furnace effect.

Grape Varieties: On this terrain, the 13 appellation grape varieties take on a specific maturity, giving the wines their mineral and stewed fruit flavours. From the different native grape varieties, 3 principle varieties are present: the Grenache (60%), the syrah (30%), the Mourvèdre (approximately 7%), and other typical grape varieties (making up 3%, such as Counoise, Terret noir, Muscardin and Vaccarèse).

Winemaking: The winemaking process begins with vine selection: old Grenache (70 years old) and others younger (30-40 years old), ideal exposures, low yields. Grapes are harvested by hand and rigorously sorted. Each grape variety is vinified separately after total de-stemming. Extended fermentation (3-4 weeks) is done with frequent pump overs and daily control (analysis-tasting). Temperature is controlled in order to afford the optimum extraction of colour and aromas.

Ageing: We age the wine in French oak barrels and in wooden tanks for 12 months before blending. We also bottle age the wine for several months in our cellar, at good temperature and no light before selling.

Recommended Drinking Temperature: Maximum 60 degrees. Let the wine breath in the decanter one hour before drinking.


“A barrel-maker born in Châteauneuf-du-Pape will eventually think of filling his barrels.” It came to no surprise when the Bouachon family, barrel-makers who had already been selecting grapes to produce wine for others, decided to fill their own barrels in 1898. Maison Bouachon the winery was born.

During the first half of the 20th century, Maison Bouachon was immersed in the viticultural tradition of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Over time, the Maison became familiar with the diversity of regional vines and terroirs while establishing strong ties with local winegrowers. Having gained a foothold in the region, Maison Bouachon continued developing its winemaking skill with the acquisition of barrel chais during the 50s: this included mastering the vinification process as well as perfecting the delicate art of blending and the aging.

Maison Bouachon developed its passion for terroir while seeking the utmost in quality. Close relations were established with growers from one generation to the next. Combining resources and know-how through solid partnerships made it possible to get the most out of vines and terroirs. Exceptional parcels were carefully selected. Grenache, the king of grape varieties in the southern Rhône valley, became central to blending. In the chais, beside the original barrels, new oak casks were used to age the best vintages.

In 2001, Maison Bouachon entered a new era when it became part of Skalli Family Wines. Already considered to be a great name in southern French wine, the Maison now aimed to be the most prominent wine of the appellation Châteauneuf-du Pape. Vintages of extraordinary refinement and complexity were conceived within the Rhône appellation tradition, their well-rounded bouquet revealing a multitude of incredibly fruity, spicy aromas.

Combining full-bodied harmony with exquisite refinement, Maison Bouachon wines remain true to their southern origins today. Served in both traditional and gourmet restaurants, they are also found in wine shops and specialty stores in France and around the world.

Maison Bouachon wines have been expressing the rich variety of their terroir for over a century. They have now become the most prominent wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe, the choicest appellation of southern France.

The Vineyards:

Ah! The vineyards of Châteauneuf du Pape, what a legend! The story begins in the 14th century when the pope’s court moved to Avignon. John XXII, the second pope from Avignon, who reigned from 1316 to 1334, had a castle built as a summer residence on the heights of the village of Calcernier, several kilometres from Avignon, and renamed Châteauneuf du Pape in 1893,. At that time, someone had the idea to plant a small vineyard where “excellent wines were harvested”. This delicate nectar was known as the Pope’s wine, its prestigious name before becoming the internationally acclaimed Châteauneuf du Pape. The Châteauneuf du Pape Controlled Appellation was created in 1933, defining the production area and conditions.

Suggested Food Pairing:

Serve with Maison Bouachon Gigondas

2 pounds flank steak
3 cloves garlic – peeled & chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley – minced
¼ cup rosemary leaves – chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

AIOLI (garlic mayonnaise)

5 cloves garlic – peeled (drizzle with a little olive oil & wrap in foil)
1 ½ cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the flank steak, garlic, parsley, rosemary and oil into a ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Roast the garlic package in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until soft.
Blend the eggs, garlic, mustard & lemon juice in a food processor. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream until the Aioli thickens. Season with salt & pepper.

Remove the flank steak 1 hour before cooking, rub off all the garlic & herbs and season with salt and pepper. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill and cook the steak over a hot fire to the desired doneness.

Slick the meat thinly, against the grain, and serve with the Aioli.

Serves 4 – 6

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