While we were at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan with Ms. Yoga, they were getting busier, and we were deciding on some wines to take home. We did not get carried away, as we have a money pit project that I will eventually get to, when it is done. Ms. Yoga decided that “John’s Store” was a great place to visit and she really liked the last wine that tasted. So much so, that she insisted that we allow her to treat us to a wine for dinner at home, before she took off the next day.
We had a bottle of Domaine Berthet-Rayne Cuvee Tradition Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley 2019. Raoul Raymond when he was in his twenties, took over his family farm and uprooted parcels of cherry groves to plant vines. In 1978 with the help of his son-in-law Christian they set up Domaine Berthet-Rayne. Originally the Domaine Berthet-Rayne created a range of wine to be only sold in France, with property in the Cote du Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Between 1995 and 2000, the estate first began exporting wines in Europe and then finally to the United State of America. The Domaine has twenty-nine hectares in Chateauneuf-du-Pape on diluvium alpin soil and they are on the left side of Rhone between Orange and Avignon and share some of the famed terroirs of Coudoulet and Chapouin with their clay-chalk soils. The wine is a blend of sixty-five percent Grenache, twenty percent Mourvedre, five percent Syrah and ten percent Cinsault. The wine was a nice dark ruby/purple color with notes of black cherries and cassis. The palate offered dark cherries, and silk tannins with a nice medium finish with terroir. When we got home and opened a bottle of this wine, it was great before we had dinner and was excellent with our dinner as well. Just a lovely wine.
The name of the winery rang a bell with me, but the label was rather modern and not what I expect from a classic region as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A unique feature about the wines from the region is that the bottles all have the Papal keys designed on the glass, and since I was thinking about the wine, I actually tasted the 2011 and then we had the 2011 vintage with a dinner. Back in 2014 the final bottle of a grand meal and this was part of my notes the last time we enjoyed Domaine Berthet-Rayne Chateauneuf du Pape 2011. The area is called this because it was the “New Castle of the Pope” in Avignon in the Fourteenth Century, and it is one of the oldest appellations in France. This famed wine from the Rhone Valley is made from Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah varietals. This area is known as the driest area of the Rhone, and in extreme cases, the wineries must ask for special permission from the French Government to water the vines. As I have a natural fondness for Rhone wines, a Chateauneuf du Pape holds even a higher degree to me, as I always find it to offer more richness to the glass.