This ripe, full fruited blend of classic white Rhône grapes shows a distinct bouquet of fresh apples and tree fruit blossoms with bold, supple fruit flavors on the palate and a structure of moderate acidic balance.
Wine Spectator 90 points - A lovely, high-pitched style, with green almond, mirabelle plum, kiwifruit and green fig notes carried by a brisk, stony spine that extends through the finish. Drink now through 2016. 2,000 cases made.-JM
(Nov 15 2014)
Wine Advocate 88 points - This is another fine set of releases from Jean Abeille and Didier Fabre, who now manage this large estate. The wines come up short on depth and richness, but they’re obviously well-made and shine for their balance and drink-ability. Nevertheless, I’d love to see them push for a richer, more serious effort. (Oct 2014)
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Mont-Redon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is a unique and unusual white wine of particular seductiveness. The pale straw color leads to fragrant white fruit and floral aromas on the nose, with nuances of acacia and citrus. On the palate, a perfect balance between richness and acidity underscores an intense, full, ripe fruit depth marrying exotic fruits to suggestions of grapefruit and anise from blockage of the malolactic fermentation. The voluminous finish is clean and lingering, ending on an elegant floral note.
Wine maker notes
Because the grapes of the white vines matures at different rates, they must be gathered in stages. Particular care is required in timing of harvest and subsequent vinification in this hot climate to preserve the freshness and vigor of the fruit. A hand harvested is carried out in three separate passes through the vineyard. Grenache and Roussane mature first, followed by Clairette and Picpoul, and finally by Bourboulenc. Each variety is pressed separately and the must allowed to settle for 30 hours at 12°C (54°F), although some experimentation is underway with "macération pelliculaire," or skin contact, for Roussane and Clairette. Fermentation is carried out in stainless steel over the period of a month at 15° to 16°C (59° to 62°F), with a slight elevation in temperature at the end of fermentation. Malolactic fermentation is blocked to preserve the crispness and acidity of the wine. The blend is assembled, followed by a light filtration, and the finished wine bottled in January.
Mont-Redon’s extraordinary situation, at Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s highest elevation of 360 feet, is one of very few to include all three soil types found in the appellation. On the plateau’s summit are the classic alpine diluvium soils consisting of a deep layer of large, round stones over a clay subsoil that draws the vine roots far into the earth to find a source of water. The stones also act as a natural incubator, absorbing the intense Mediterranean sun during the day and radiating heat at night into the grapes. Planted in Grenache and Syrah, these soils lend structure and backbone to the fruit.
At the foot of the plateau, sheltered sandy soils support the Mourvedre and Cinsault vines, which in this environment develop richness and intense aromatic qualities.
The plateau’s slopes are composed of limestone pebbles that lend finesse and fruitiness to the white Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Roussane and Picpoul vines to which they are planted. The vines of the Chateauneuf estate average 45 years of age.
The Cotes-du-Rhone vineyard, also lying on Urgonian limestone, is planted principally in Grenache with smaller proportions of Cinsault and Syrah.