Chateauneuf du Pape, star of the Southern Rhône

Châteauneuf du Pape Waud Wines at Beaucastel

Chateauneuf du Pape is undoubtedly one of the most famous wine regions in the world – and is of course then up there as one of the best in Southern Rhône, France. Chateau Beaucastel is a prestigious Chateau in the Chateauneuf region – and it was a treat to visit there with some Waud Wine Club members on our first ever Tour du Vin back in 2011.

Of the old world red wines, Chateauneuf du Pape is probably one of the most iconic names out there – and it is not surprising given the quality available.

Unlike in Northern Rhône, where typically Syrah is the main red wine grape and Viognier is the main white wine grape – the rules allow for many other grape varieties in Southern Rhône. The classics of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre and Cinsault are the mainstays on the reds, then on the white wine grape side, you have Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier, Clairette, Bourboulenc and more…

The complexity of these great wines is unreal and an absolute pleasure. If you ever get the chance to try and Chateauneuf Red or Chateauneuf white.

Waud Wines do continue to list Beaucastel and the second wine from there, Coudoulet – and these tend to get snapped up incredibly quickly when they are released en primeur.

There are other wines from Chateauneuf you should consider – have a look at our extensive range from Chateau de la Gardine, located 5 minutes away from Beaucastel. Adopting a gorgeous ‘wonky’ bottle – these wines are incredible value around the £35 mark. We also have their ‘table’ red wines and white wines – as well as from other rhone regions of Gigondas and Rasteau.

Xavier Vignon Consultant oenologist for twenty years at Châteauneuf du Pape
Xavier Vignon Consultant oenologist for twenty years at Châteauneuf du Pape

Alternatively, Xavier Vignon has been a particularly exciting find for us. They are based in Southern Rhôneand make predominantly red wines – one of the most interesting parcels they create is their Non Vintage reds from their Arcane series. Before trying these wines, if anyone has said to us to try and non-vintage red, we would have thought it was a joke and the quality is bound to be appalling. Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth and these non-vintage blends are absolutely stunning.

Xavier Vignon learnt his trade all over the world, but in particular in Champagne, where of course you blend multiple grapes and vintages to make the fine champagnes. Typically most champagne is non-vintage – so applying the same rules to red wine makes complete sense.

Pick the best grapes, from the most iconic regions, in the most successful years is an absolute no brainer when you think about it – so it is not surprising that the Le Fou and L’Etoile wines from their range that we list are particularly exciting.

Explore the website now to give these old world red wines from Southern France a whirl. We promise you will not be disappointed.


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