Clos des Papes 2008 - "Middle Child" Makes Good!
Southern Rhone's 2008 vintage does not get the credit it deserves. It is unfairly flanked by the epic 2007 and fantastic 2009 vintages and tends to get lost in the shuffle as a sort of "middle child" of vintages.
But the worst thing we can do is condemn a Rhone from 2008...or any wine, for that matter...simply because of its vintage! Careful selection not only reveals fantastic wines, but fantastic prices as well. Enter the Chateauneuf du Pape from Clos des Papes:
This blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, with the remaining 5% consisting of the other permitted grapes, is deeply rich yet elegant, and considered a "Burgundian-styled Chateauneuf-du-Pape" by Jeb Dunnuck of the Rhone Report. This is highly cellarworthy and long-lived, but unlike most wines from Clos des Papes, this is drinking beautifully in its early stages of development. And at our price of $75 per bottle, it is much less expensive than its younger counterparts, which typically sell for $125 or more despite VERY similar levels of quality!
Clos des Papes is a winery that needs no introduction, and it continues to craft wines of unbelievable nuance, flavor, and structure. But the 2008 vintage perhaps needs a re-visit from Rhone enthusiasts the world over, and this wine is going to lead that charge!