Lifestyle

Glorious White Ch?teauneuf


Most people think of red wines when they think of Ch?teauneuf-du-Pape, but the 2009 Ch?teau Mont-Redon is beautiful example of a white CdP

Last week's column featured a wonderful Ch?teauneuf-du-Pape from a venerable estate. A red Ch?teauneuf. That last distinction, red, is not normally necessary. More than 90 percent of the region's production is red, so people just assume that when you say Ch?teauneuf-du-Pape, you mean red wine. But not always, as is shown by this week's Wine of the Week—the equally impressive Château Mont-Redon Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009 ($36), a glorious white CdP. A miraculous balance of feather-light finesse and voluptuous sensuality, it is a glowing example of the advantages of blending different varietals. The Grenache Blanc, Bourboulec, Clairette, Roussanne, and Picpoul grapes are harvested and fermented separately before being blended together into a marvel of complexity. So full-flavored are these varietals, and so ripe are the grapes grown under the generous Provence sun, that the wine needs no malolactic fermentation to achieve its mouth-filling generosity. Just dripping with melons and peaches, tinges of oak, and a clean citrus acidity on the finish, this rich, earthy, and subtly aromatic wine is no polished, aristocratic Burgundy. But nor is it a limpid, New World oak-bomb. It is a wine of such focused power it can be happily drunk with a steak. Gloriously exuberant, it's a rousing affirmation of the wonders of the white wine of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. To find this wine near you, try Wine-Searcher.com. When to Drink: Now Breathing/Decanting: Not necessary Food Pairing: Richer seafood like tuna or swordfish, grilled vegetables, chicken Grapes: Grenache 40%, Bourboulenc 25%, Clairette 20%, Roussanne 10%, Picpoul 5% Appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape Region: Rhône Valley Country: France Price: $36 Availability: Limited Website: www.chateaumontredon.fr Related Content Châteauneuf Shines This Wine Is in the Bag Super Spanish Rosé

Nick Passmore is an independent wine writer and consultant based in New York. For five years he contributed a widely read monthly wine column to Forbes.com, in addition to which his work has appeared in such publications as Forbes, Discover, Town Country, the Robb Report, the Wine Enthusiast, Saveur, Sky, and Golf Connoisseur. He is currently Artisanal Editor for Four Seasons magazine and contributes the Nick Passmore: Wine of the Week column to Businessweek.com. He is also a judge at the widely respected annual Critics' Challenge wine competition.

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