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Below is the May, 2006 Featured Wine for the Wines by Jennifer Cellar Club:

2003 Chateau de la Gardine

"Cuvée Tradition"

Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France

2003 Chateau de la Gardine "Cuvee Tradition"The Chateau was originally owned by the Catholic Church and dates back to the 15th Century. The Chateau is comprised of 173 acres, of which 113 are devoted to the vineyards. This wine is a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault and Muscardin. An unusual aspect of Chateau de la Gardine is its use of Muscardin, which is a low-yield variety producing an aromatic wine with a low alcohol. This Chateauneuf-du-Pape is opulent and powerful, with fleshy ripe cherry & redcurrant, and subtle notes of mocha and spice. Great purity. Pairs well with red meats (grilled, roasted or in sauces), any fowl (duck, lamb), spicy foods, and almost any cheese. Serve at room temperature, 65F.

Wine Map of France's Rhone Valley


The Rhône Valley of France consists of two fairly distinct viticultural regions. To the north Syrah is the dominant grape, whereas to the south it frequently plays second fiddle to other varieties, such as Grenache or Mourvèdre. Separating north from south is a large expanse of land, where vineyards are few and far between.

Undoubtedly the lead appellation of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf du Pape is named for the papal palace that was once situated in the centre of the town. This was essentially a summer home for the Pope, who in the 14th century was based in nearby Avignon. The palace survived until the 1940's, when it was destroyed in the Second World War. The imposing ruins exist to this day, standing tall over the rest of the town. Châteauneuf du Pape is also famous for being the home of Baron Le Roy, owner of Château Fortia, and founder of the appellation contrôlée system which defines much of the vineyard areas in France. The red wine itself may be a blend of up to thirteen different grape varieties, although in practice many of the top wines use only three or four.


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