Tag Archives: Mourvèdre

Domaine Chante Cigale: 2004 Chateauneuf-Du-Pape


labelAlfio Moriconi Selection Domaine Chante Cigale:  2004 Chateauneuf-Du-Pape

Following through on one of my two official new year resolutions for 2013, I am doing my best not to hoard good wines for future imbibing but enjoying them in the present.

After enjoying and writing about California’s Chappallet Cabernet Sauvignon in my last post we cross the ocean to France and their Chateauneuf-Du-Pape appellation.  I must admit that this wine has probably been sitting in our cellar for over a year and although aging befits this type of wine it most definitely falls into my STOP HOARDING category. A lovely gift from dear wine loving friends and neighbors, it was an easy decision when considering my ENJOY NOW choices.

Interesting notes about this wine that I discovered:

-The Domaine Chante Cigale has been in family ownership since the 19th century.

-“Chante” means singing, and “cigale” is cicada.

-The domaine owns 40 hectares of planting area for red grapes and  5 hectares for green [or white] grapes.

-Chateauneuf-Du-Pape means New Castle of the Pope, dating back to the 14th century and referring to Pope Clement V.

-This appellation allows an unusual long list of grape varietals, thirteen with as many as 18 listed in the AOC documentation.

-Up until the 1920’s wines from Chateauneuf-Du-Pape were blended with others from the general area of Avignon.  Between 1929 and 1936 Chateauneuf-Du-Pape became one of France’s first official appellations for wine.

An Alfio Moriconi Selection?

Some of you may have noted this designation on the label and or description. At first I couldn’t find much information or reference to Mr. Moriconi at Chante Cigale but as it turns out Alfio Moriconi  is the Vice President of European Wine Sales & Imports at Total Wine.  His selections are at times noted on the label itself not only because of the large quantities of wine they buy from producers but also to  draw attention to the implied quality of his choices.  To some degree I see it as a way of private labeling their products and making them available as such only through Total Wine. Pretty good marketing idea when you have that kind of buying power if you ask me.

My notes:

This blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault was a rich dark burgundy color with some brown when decanted.  I was concerned at first because the upper part of the cork practically crumbled at opening due to its dryness, but luckily the lower half stayed together and was a beautiful moist sight to see as it was pulled from the bottle.  On the nose I noted this Chateauneuf-Du-Pape was; delicate dark fruit forward and listed examples of fig and guava which may have to do with my tropical background. Spicy and fruity combined. On the palate I detected a tawny dark fruit taste, a bold wine with leather, pepper and herbs coming through and little wood.

At 40 minutes I noted this wine had become much smoother with fruit becoming somewhat more delicate and distinguishable. At the 60 minute mark the fruit had come forward even more so with spiciness appreciated on the lingering finish.  My last observation on this wine came at the 90 minute mark when I noted: OPEN! And yes in capitals with an exclamation mark 🙂  I can see this medium bodied wine easily being decanted for an hour before being served to better appreciate its various flavors and smooth tannins.

We thoroughly enjoyed this wine and now I find myself thinking of a reason to invite our neighbors over again. Not that we need one really since we love sharing new wine discoveries every chance we get. CHEERS to wine loving friends everywhere and ¡SALUD!

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My Languedoc Day choice – 2009 Chateau de Landure Minervois


2009 Chateau de Landure Minervois

I’ve truly enjoyed using the excuse of Languedoc Day to learn about this region of southern France and its varietals. Historically the area which dates or even predates Roman times is amazing. For those with an interest please see my earlier post near the bottom for more information. I am also providing additional information about this winemaker below.

Luckily for my wallet Languedoc wines are reasonably priced with many falling in the $8-$24.00 range. My choice is from Total Wine & More and I picked it after studying the characteristics of each wine. Narrowing the choice down as I came across attributes that usually appeal to me; dark fruit, medium body etc.  I was originally drawn to a different 2010-11 vintage because of its RESERVE classification but decided on the Chateau de Landure because of its slightly older vintage. In my mind the extra time in the bottle would be beneficial not only to the personality of the wine but also to the imbiber, me of course.

As many from this region are this wine is a blend: 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre. As I decanted this wine I was surprised [pleasantly] to see its very dark rich color.  I would describe it as an intensive very dark purple nearing black. The color is truly something to see.  The aroma/bouquet was highly aromatic, very dark fruit forward with intense notes of raisin, currant and black pepper. As it opened I also noted; vanilla and violet. On the palate I detected many of the same with the continued strength of black pepper and stewed fruits; raisin/prune at its base.  Interestingly the medium tannin level seemed to strengthen on the finish.  Overall a very harmonious balance.

I did not expect the “New Worldliness” of this wine. I was expecting Old World style delicateness. This wine is bold and explosive. I truly enjoyed it and it was perfectly paired with our grilled rib-eye and roasted potato dinner. I would recommend this delicious French wine for those who prefer their wines dark, fruity and exciting.

I’ve saved the best for last, the price! An almost unbelievable $8.99. At this QPR [quality price ratio] I believe I will be going back for more.


chateau landure wine cave

Chateau Landure
Dating back to the Cathares, this wine estate in the very capable hands of Luc Rouvière and his family, has created a full bodied red wine that is superb in bag in box, or in bottle, as well as a newer Rosé that also exhibits a similar finesse.
This very pretty domaine, is a short drive from Bize Minervois on the road to Minerve and Saint Pons. The property dates back to        Cathar and no doubt pre Roman times. It was once part of the lands of Fontfroide Abbey.
It comprises 26 hectares, with Vins de Pays d’Oc and AOC.  The ground is clay and limestone and the vineyard grows the varieties of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Carignan.