CDP is considered to be a wine region in the south of the Rhône in the south-east of France. Chateauneuf du Pape means “the new castle of the Pope” in French. In the 14th century, Pope Clement V (who was once the Archbishop of Bordeaux) moved the capital of the Catholic Church from Rome to Avignon. Fortunately, he was a wine lover and supported wine production in this region. His successor, Pope John XXIII, was an even greater supporter of wine production in the region. The wines of the region became known as “Vin du Pape”, and eventually the name of the wines was changed to Châteauneuf du Pape. Pope John XXIII ended up building a castle in this area and the ruins of the castle can still be seen to this day. CDP was the first wine region created in France.
CDP produces both red and white wine. There are 13 grape varieties that can be used to produce CDP red wine and five grape varieties that can be used to produce CDP white wine. CDP wineries are free to use some or all of the different varieties in their blend, and some red wines even use grapes typically used to produce white wine in their red wine blend. This makes CDP almost like the wine buffet, and that’s why you get such great flavor and vibrancy in CDP wines.
In general, the grapes most used in CDP wines are Grenache, followed by Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. CDP red wines have tastes and aromas of game, violets, tar and leather. For CDP white wines, the grapes most used in the blend are Rousanne and Grenache Blanc. White wines represent only less than 10 percent of CDP wine production and normally have almond, starfruit and fennel flavors and aromas. CDP wines are very appealing to wine lovers and regardless of the level of quality, most bottles of CDP cost less than $ 100. They produce instant pleasure, are very fruity and have a lot of substance. These are bold, great wines, which modern drinkers seem to appreciate.
One of the best producers of CDP is Château Beaucastel or “beau chateau”, which takes its name from the Chateau d’Avignon built by John XXIII. Each year the blend of Beaucastel red wine is a little different, but for 2017 the blend was 30 percent Grenache, 30 percent Mourvèdre, 15 percent Syrah, 10 percent Counoise, 10 percent percent of eight other types of grapes suitable for use in CDP (including the types of grapes normally used in white CDP) and five percent of Cinsault. What makes Beaucastel unique compared to other CDP red wines is the higher than normal percentage of Mourvèdre, which adds dark color, tannins, violets and licorice, and the use of five percent of grapes normally used to make white CDP. It is priced at $ 89.99 at BC Liquor Stores and is one of the best examples of red CDP you can buy. If you would like to learn more about this wine, please check out my video review of this wine on YouTube.
Until next time, good drink!
Tony Kwan is a lifestyle writer. Lawyer by day, food and wine enthusiast by night, Tony aims to give you an insider’s guide to the best of life.