Chateauneuf du Pape is the Southern Rhone’s great wine. The top producers are expensive. Actually, the top producers are crazy expensive. And the cheap CdPs that the large operations make for French grocery stores are generally no fun to drink: overwrought and over-priced Cotes du Rhone.But there is a middle path!Bois de Boursan is great, legit stuff. And it's reasonably priced. In fact, it’s so cheap for what it is, it’s fairer to say it’s unreasonably priced. But we'll take it.What makes the domaine so great? It starts, as always, with the terroir and the old vines (35-115 years, though the oldest vines go in their VV cuvée). They have a mix of 80% clay/chalk soils (giving depth and limestone texture) and sandy soils giving bright, red-berried fruit. The wind and wild herbs give it the famous garrigue aromatics of rosemary and herbes de provence.The vigneron, Jean-Paul Versino, has barely modernized anything. The farming is organic and the harvest is by hand. He ferments this wine almost entirely in concrete (there is a little stainless steel), whole cluster and with natural yeasts. He ages it in large, old wood, uses very little sulfur, and doesn't fine or filter. This is unapologetically old fashioned wine: elegant, sure, but also grippy and wild and loads of fun. If it also sounds surprisingly like a “natural wine,” we agree. And it probably won't surprise you to know that Louis/Dressner, New York’s pathbreaking natural wine importer, carried the wine before Rosenthal picked it up. And therein lies a great lesson: the hippest of techniques can make the most traditional of wines when perfectly executed on top-flight material.
What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...
The white wine of the domaine represents about 5% of the total production annually. The grape composition is: Clairette 35% / Grenache Blanc 35% / Roussanne 15% / Bourboulenc 15%. The fermentation occurs in enamel tanks and the elevage extends for six months only before bottling. The wine can be enjoyed young for its freshness but its mineral core reaches its ultimate expression several years later. Certified organic.
Clairette , Roussanne , White Blend
Earthy , Elegant , Minerally