Hello Friends, people keep asking me "What the heck is Châteauneuf-du-Pape?", so let me give you a brief history... Chateauneuf du Pape translates as "New Castle of the Pope" and the name does in fact have a direct meaning with Middle Age Christianity in Europe. In 1308, a former arch bishop from Bordeaux called Clemente was crowned Pope and decided to relocate the papacy to the city of Avignon in France. He bacame known as Clemente V and his subsequent successors "Avignon Popes" were said to be lovers of Burgundy wines, bless their souls, and they did much to promote these wines during the seventy-year + duration in Avignon. First known as "Vins du Pape" which translates to "Wines of the Pope" it became later known as Chateauneuf du Pape which carries the unique symbol of the castle in the town less than kilometers from the banks of the Rhone River. Now which are my favorite Chateauneuf du Papes? Chateau La Nerthe (its the least pricey and always incredible), Beaucastel is always the top leader but a little more expensive, and there are a few that are always pretty good and moderately priced like Roger Sabon's Les Olivers Chateauneuf du Pape which retails around $40 or so. Anyways, Chateauneuf du Pape is one of those wines that is immediately drinkable, however it is recommended to age between 4 and 6 years to acheive its pinnacle in taste. Its my favorite wine in case you are looking for my upcoming birthday present (hint, hint).
Cheers - Alex Andrawes Wines.com and PersonalWine.com CEO