Domaine La Manarine - Chateauneuf-du-Pape How It Is Meant To Be
Chateauneuf-du-Pape can be an immensely satisfying wine: the lush fruit (blood orange, red and black berries), the herbs (sage, rosemary), the spice (black pepper, licorice) and then something deep and very terroir-specific: the Mediterranean garrigue.
But It can also be overdone. Sometimes there is too much alcohol and too much oak. It tires out the palate, and people end up searching for wines from cooler climates.
At Domaine la Manarine, they do not overdo their Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It starts with terroir: they have two special sites, side by side, that are at the extreme northern end of the AOC where it is significantly cooler than elsewhere. One site has the traditional galets, the large pebbles that contribute to Chateauneuf’s unique flavors. The other site is quite sandy, a soil-type that is associated with the more elegant wines of the AOC, such as Rayas. All of this makes possible a Chateauneuf that is fresher, cooler-fruited and more restrained.
These qualities are enhanced by Manarine through organic farming and a very hands-off traditionalist approach in the cellar. Nothing is forced. Fermentations are all natural. Half the grapes are left on their stems. There is no barrique aging. The terroir lends itself to elegance, and Manarine make sure elegance takes center stage in the winery.
This is Chateauneuf-du-Pape how it is meant to be – a wine that is deep, complex and immersive, filling the senses, but not overwhelming them. It is a wine that instantly impresses, not by branding a sledgehammer, but rather by weaving an intricate rainbow of aromatics and flavors.
It also happens to be a fantastic value. Like everything, Chateauneuf prices have surged in recent years. It is a pleasure to come across pricing like this to remind us of that time when the wine world was a little less crazy, and a little easier for us all to enjoy.
Domaine La Manarine Chateauneuf-du-Pape Pied de Baud 2019 $44.99
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