- It’s been a little-while since I last had/reviewed a bottle of CdP (what the cool kids call it…or at least…what I call it). Chateauneuf-du-Pape isn’t for everyone – its intensity and “tertiary” flavors certainly take some getting use to – but I’d probably put it up there as my overall all-time favorite French wine region.
- Seven generations of winegrowers have tended to the vineyards Ogier uses for their grapes, since 1780. The Ogier winery itself was founded in 1859. The one thing you can say about the French, is they know how to “do” history!
- The Clos de L’Oratoire label has remained unchanged since it was designed in 1926.
- The Ogier Clos de L’Oratoire Chateauneuf du Pape spent 12 months of its existence in oak “foudres.” These massive wine barrels are of an undefined size, but usually are between 4000-8000 liters in capacity. Each barrel holds enough to fill 5,000-10,000 bottles of plonk.
- All the wines from Ogier are made from organically grown grapes, but it’s not something they brag about. You’ll find that with a lot of French producers; namely, they aren’t in a big hurry to plaster “ORGANIC!!!” on the front label of their bottles. The polar-opposite of their New World counterparts. For Ogier, they’re just making wine the way they always have, and not simply to cater to Portland-dwelling-carrot-munching-tree-hugging-20-something-hipsters. It’s a small demographic after all…
- 91 points in the Wine Speculator and 93 from the Wine Enthusiast (I haven’t come up with a “creative” way to twist their name yet…but I will)
- Ogier is located slap-bang in the middle of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. They own two separate vineyards; one in Le Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes and one in A.O.C Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape vineyards are filled with what the French call “Galets”. These huge stones which are scattered in and amongst the vines retain the heat of the day and radiate it to the vines during the night. Think of them like “hot water bottles” for vines to keep them warm at night…but don’t write that in a Sommelier exam…they’ll think you’re retarded…
- There are thirteen grape varieties approved for use in Chateauneuf-du-Pape red wines, and even though they’re only using four grapes in this blend, they have the choice of: Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Vacarese, Counoise, Terret Noir, Clairette, Muscardin, Picpoul, Picardin, Bourboulenc and Roussanne. I used to have them all memorized, but now I have other more constructive hobbies…
Cassis, ripe plum, smoke, wild red fruits, licorice, dried herbs, cracked black pepper and well-integrated oak, mixed in with some leathery flavors on the finish.
Old school wine, old school food! Game, lamb shank, mushrooms, truffle roasted/braised meats, duck, stew/casserole, black pudding; and of course beef…in just about every form.