Domaine de la Solitude, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 2015
Domaine de la Solitude has one of the longest histories in the Rhone Valley. The Barberini family who founded the estate can trace their roots in Chateauneuf du Pape back to the 1604. Before that, the family was well known in their native land of Italy. They were quite an established, or should I say famous family as far back as the 13th century. In fact, Maffeo Barberini became the Pope, using the name of Urbain VIII. Two of the nephews of Maffeo Barberini became Cardinals and moved to Avignon. Perhaps that move was due to issues related to loud accusations about destroying historic monuments so the materials could be used to create, new, palatial estates and palaces for their personal use. But what is important for us is, that move to Avignon led the family to a career making wine in Chateauneuf du Pape!
From there, through marriage and a dowry, what we know of today as Domaine de la Solitude was born. The estate took its name from the La Solitude lieu-dit, which is where much of their vineyards are planted. Domaine de la Solitude was one of the larger vineyards in the region by the mid to late 1800’s. At the time, the wine was produced and sold under the name of Vin de la Solitude. It took a few hundred years, but by 1900, the Southern Rhone Valley estate had become so popular, they began to produce, sell and bottle their own wine. The modern era for Domaine de la Solitude began in the 1970’s when a direct descendant through marriage, Pierre Lancon began managing the estate. That tradition continues today, as the estate is managed today by his children, Michel Lancon and Jean Lancon.
Domaine de la Solitude owns 35 hectares of vines in Chateauneuf du Pape. 30 hectares are devoted to the production of red wine and 5 hectares are used for growing grapes used to make their white Chateauneuf du Pape wine. All 35 hectares are located in the La Solitude lieu dit, which is next to La Crau. The vines are planted in a terroir of sand, loam, clay and rocky soils. Domaine de la Solitude has old vines. In fact, their oldest parcel of Grenache vines are more than 100 years old. In 1985, Domaine de la Solitude made changes in their approach to wine making. They replaced their old foudres with concrete vats and stainless steel tanks. In 1996, they renovated their winemaking facilities again and began experimenting with using some new, French oak barrels as well for the aging process. In 1999, Domaine de la Solitude expanded their output, launching new labels. Cuvee Barberini made its debut in 1999 and the Reserve Secret was launched with the 2000 vintage.
To produce the wine of Domaine de la Solitude, the grapes are partially destemmed. Vinification takes place in 150 hectolitre vats. Malolactic fermentation occurs in French oak barrels. The parcels and grape varieties are each vinified separately. Depending on the grape, Domaine de la Solitude will ferment in concrete vats, stainless steel tanks or resin vats. On average, up to 10% of the wines can be aged in a portion of new, French oak barrels.
This Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault. Full bodied and rich textured yet soft at the same time. Sweet black fruits, red fruits mixed with spice notes, smoke and leather. A rich style with a long and heady finish. Pairs with charcuterie, cheeses and classic meat stew effortlessly. Offering up lovely notes of framboise, wild strawberries, candied violets and licorice, the 2014 Chateauneuf du Pape is medium-bodied, forward and elegant, with sweet tannin and a clean finish. It’s not a blockbuster, but shines for its purity of fruit.
Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah
Standard Bottle (750ml)
Beef, Pork, Cheese, Chocolate, Cigar