90 Points - Robert Parker
Gold Medal - Guilbert & Gaillard
94 Insider Points
"One of the standouts in the lineup is the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Sainte Vierge, which is 90% Grenache, and 5% each of Mourvèdre and Syrah. Raised mostly in concrete tanks (15% was in very old barrels), it gives up ample blackberry, black cherry, leather and violets aromas and flavors. Possessing good concentration, notable purity of fruit and fine tannin, it has outstanding potential". - Jeb Dunnuck
We all know Châteauneuf, or at least if you haven't tried it, you've hopefully heard of it (by the way, if you haven't tried it, you need to jump on this train). Anyway, when the Celliers des Princes CDP landed on my desk, I knew it was a wine I was looking for. They don't always work for our releases. Sometimes the middleman just can't get his price out of the way. Luckily, I'm pretty good at my job, and was able to secure this bad boy at exactly where it needed to be. It was after the fact that I, by complete chance, got to meet the winery's representative, Nicolas, at the World Wine Meetings Chicago. Meeting all of made me whole in knowing I made the right choice. It's at those conferences that you really get to connect with the people behind the wine, and Nicolas gave me the full run down. I didn't just get to taste the wine, I got to understand the full story of why it was. This is wine well worth jumping into, and I highly recommend it for CDP fiends and newbies alike. 94 Points - JZ July '18
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC, Rhône Valley, France
Vinous' Antonio Galloni said it best: "What especially impresses me about the 2015 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the consistently high quality of the wines, from entry-level bottlings up to the limited-production special cuvées coveted by collectors ... my advice is to jump on those wines."
That's precisely what we did here. Delivering above its retail pricepoint, it's far beyond noteworthy at this value. A luxury bottling displaying the rich side of the vintage, there's a serious nod to 2009s styling. Fresh with good depth, it's a crowd-pleaser for a wide range of Châteauneuf lovers.
Co-ops are a well-known source of value wines throughout France. These farmer-owned businesses allow the smallest of growers to maintain their family vineyards—many going back generations. In high-profile, spendy AOC s like Châteauneuf du Pape, cooperatives are very nearly a thing of the past—as big, famous names greedily take up more than their fair share of the market.
As one of the longest-running coops in the appellation, Cellier des Princes is a welcome respite from all that. Their 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe rouge is textbook CdP, made almost entirely from Grenache (with 5% each Mourvèdre and Syrah), 100% hand picked, and fermented in tank with zero oak from fermentation to bottling, which means the Grenache is bursting with bright red fruit aromatics and snappy spice.
90 points from the Wine Spectator, which notes: “warm plum, blackberry and black cherry compote notes carried by a singed alder spine through the grippy finish. Shows more range as it stretches out in the glass, with spice, tobacco and warm stone details.” Drink this Rayas-like find now and over the next decade.
· Cellier des Princes was established in 1925 a cooperative representing top-quality, small family farmers in Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe. Today, 189 quality viticulturalists contribute their fruit to the coop, many farming in the appellation’s best terroir.
· Aside from its 90-point Spectator score, this newly released Rhone red also took home a medal from the International Wine Challenge.
· The 2015 vintage in the Southern Rhone was rated 93 points by the Wine Advocate and 92 points or “Excellent” by the Wine Enthusiast.
· The Cellier des Princes CdP is sourced from grapes in Châteauneuf’s Courthezon village, home to Ch. De Beaucastel—one of the AOC’s most prized estates.
You'll taste flavors of blueberry and raspberry, as well as some herbs and spices. It provides a firm palate with a smooth finish.
With it's origin starting in 1924, Cellier des Princes is the leading cooperative in the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation. It is located in the commune of Couthezon. The name of the cooperative was changed in 1960 to Cellier des Princes.
Growers working with Cellier des Princes are under contract to provide 100% of their crop for the allotted time of their agreement. On average, close to 150 hectares of vines from Chateauneuf du Pape are sold to Cellier des Princes each year. In total, 240 growers participate in the cooperative.
Perfect to serve with everything from grilled beef, veal, pork, game, duck, sausage and lamb, to stews, and braised dishes, cassoulet or rich seafood dishes.