2017 Domaine du Banneret Chateauneuf du Pape$49.99
The 2017 Domaine du Banneret makes a Burgundy lover like me see a side of Chateauneuf du Pape that I have not seen before. My benchmark for Burgundian styled Chateauneuf du Pape has been Domaine Charvin, but in riper vintages, it can be a little heavy and cloying. The 2017 Domaine du Banneret was not that for this wine was so elegant, sophisticated, and refined it was breathtaking.
The vineyards have been in the family for many years. However, Domaine du Banneret was created in 1989 when Jean-Claude Vidal, and his wife Marie Françoise decided to take care of the remaining family vineyards. It was like a second life for both (vineyards and family) as Jean-Claude and Marie-François already had their jobs in Toulouse as architect and speech therapist. They took the vineyards only to give a second chance to this little plot that otherwise would have been sold outside the family. The first harvest was made in the farmhouse of Henri Bonneau's cellar, a great wine-maker, a friend of the family. The Domaine uses a very traditional approach, but with Audrey, the daughter now involved they have adapted some new technology to help benefit the wines
The vines of the Domaine are 70 years old on average and contain all the red and white varietals allowed to be planted in Chateauneuf du Pape. With the main contributing grapes being Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. They only own 1.5 hectares, of which are farmed sustainably, yields are typically meager at about 25 hectares. Indigenous yeasts are employed, and the wine is aged in older large foudre. The production is only about 500 cases total between the Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc and Rouge. Of which only about 25 cases are i9mported to the USA!
The aromatics of this wine are truly captivating and very delineated with aromas of crushed red raspberry, orange zest, game bird, mineral, spice, and garrigue. The palate has terrific balance with an incredibly elegant attack, mind-blowing complexity, all woven into the long but refreshing finish. The bottle I tasted had been open for several hours, so I would highly recommend decanting the wine if you drink it now to get to this glorious state. I have tasted a lot of Chateauneuf du Pape in my life, including the super cuvees, and this is my favorite Chateauneuf du Pape not for power and richness but for elegance, and complexity. This wine gets our highest recommendation. Do not miss out!