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Tasting: Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015

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Back in France, back in the Rhône Valley and where my first love affair with French wine began.

I say ‘first affair’ because there have been several. Each one just as good as the one before. But it all began with Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

I think I’ve mentioned before that my wine education pretty much was exclusively Australian based for many years. It wasn’t until I’d discovered the GSM blends of Australia that I started looking further afield.

There is a problem in Australia here, however, and that’s that it impossible to find well produced French wine for less than $50AUD. This was true in 2001 as much as it continues to be true. That being said, every now and then you do find a bit of a value buy – a village Côtes du Rhône, or a Petit Chablis for example. But this is impossible when it comes to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

That doesn’t mean that these wines can’t be found for under fifty bucks. They can. Just don’t buy them.

This little monster is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and a smidgen of Cinsault. And it’s freakin’ delicious.

Gorgeous medium ruby in colour with all the dark fruit aromas – dark cherry, blood plum, hints of raspberry then into smoke, charred wood and the lightest lick of cloves.

The palate is generous, not quite full bodied but pretty damn close. High alcohol, but balanced with great acidity and firm tannins. Back into those darker fruit flavours – cherry, plum and blueberry but with a hint of lavender dancing around the edges before smokey, meaty, gamey flavours take hold. The solid finish bringing everything together.

It’s a classic wine from a classic wine region and one I can’t wait to have again.

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