Chapelle St Theodoric Chateauneuf du Pape ‘Les Sablons’ 2019
A vibrant Grenache, full bodied and rich yet fresh and mineral, a great value introduction to its prestigious component parcels.
Only 6 left in stock
Grenache, Rhone Blend
Domaine de Cristia
Formal Entertainment, Indulgence
Top Rated, Organic & Biodynamic, Second Wines, Winter Warmers
|Critics Top Rating
Chapelle St. Theodoric is a project between winemaker Baptiste Grangeon from Domaine de Cristia and Peter Weygandt, importer in the USA, with an objective to show beautiful terroir expressions. The 2009 vintage marked its debut with rapid acclaim.
There are two parcels; one in the lieu-dit La Guigasse, which is a pure sand soil and where the vines (all Grenache) range in age of from 50 to 100 year; and the other parcel at the top of Pignan, literally adjoining the vines of Chateau Rayas, also in pure sand and also pure, old vines Grenache.
The vinification is traditional, that is to say, whole-cluster, such as employed by Jacques Reynaud at Chateau Rayas, Laurent Charvin, Henri Bonneau. The two parcels are vinified and aged and bottled separately, but with the exact same treatment, the experiment being to find what terroir differences one might find in pure sand, between vines less than 200 meters apart, both on sand, pure Grenache and traditional vinification.
The result has been a most exciting and successful experiment: The difference between the wines from these two parcels is clear and distinct. La Guigasse is the slightly richer of the two. The Grand Pin, perhaps because the sand is nearly pure white, perhaps the higher elevation or due to some other factor we have not yet determined, makes a wine that is lower in alcohol, more perfumed and finer.
The wine is produced from 100% Grenache that is a combination of vines planted in the Les Sablons lieu-dit, the young vines from the wineries two main vineyards, and the press wine from the two other wines that the domaine produces. The wine is then is aged in used, French oak barrels.
Traditional whole-cluster vilification, indigenous yeast fermentation. Harvested late, well into October.
Varietal – 100% Grenache
Soil – Sandy soils
Age of wines – 50-100 years old
Ageing – in varying ages of barrels, demi-muids
Full, deep red, black tints. Blackberry and loganberry coulis and lozenges give a rich bouquet, comes with several layers of filling, and just a hint – welcome, given the sweetness – of violet flowers. The palate links well to the nose, also runs with a theme of juicy abundance. The ripeness and its surge lines the gums, and the tannins add another outer layer to the content. The density dictates that this is close to being a sipping wine.
Drink from 2020, ageing potential 15 years
Jeb Dunnuck – 93-95 points
Looking at the 2019s, all of which are still aging in barrel, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Sablons can be thought of as the entry level Grenache. Destemmed and aged in older barrels, this round, mouth-filling, medium to full-bodied Grenache offers lots of red and black fruits as well as some meaty, spicy nuances. It will have plenty of up-front appeal. While the Chapelle Saint Theodoric wines are made by Baptiste Grangeon of Domaine de Cristia, the wines are dramatically different in style and are mostly not destemmed (the base Les Sablons can be destemmed) and aged all in older, larger oak barrels. These are much more perfumed, floral, elegant wines. and I always find a Burgundy-like character. In general, the Les Sablons and La Guigasse are the most approachable, with the Le Grand Pin always requiring additional bottle age to show at its best
Wine Spectator – 92 points
Sports toasty vanilla and tobacco notes out front, backed up quickly by dark plum and blackberry compote flavors. Features a swath of toast and licorice on the finish. Grenache and Syrah. Best from 2023 through 2032.
Jancis Robinson – 17.5+/20
100% Grenache. Certified organic. Cask sample. Tasted blind. Inviting nose that shows crunch and freshness and a waxy red-cherry fruit nose. Nicely defined tannins and a strawberry-dominated palate. Powerful yet elegant and shows real refinement and finesse.
Wine Advocate – 90 points
The 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape les Sablons comes from young vines (planted in 2013) in La Guigasse. Those grapes were kept separate and are being aged in older barrels. There’s a bit of lifted character on the nose, plus herbal-stemmy notes and ripe black cherries, black olives and dark chocolate. Full-bodied and powerful (around 16% alcohol, according to the winemaker, Baptiste Grangeon), the tannins remain lush and silky on the finish. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes.
The two tiny vineyards for Chapelle St. Theodoric are owned by American importer Peter Weygandt, while the wines are made at Domaine de Cristia, with the hands-on work done by Baptiste Grangeon and his cellar team. The focus is on Grenache grown in the nearly pure sand terroirs of la Guigasse and le Grand Pin (part of Pignan). The bunches are fermented whole, with aging taking place in demi-muids, typically for two years. Occasionally, a third wine, Les Sablons, is produced, sometimes blended from declassified barrels of La Guigasse and/or Le Grand Pin, but the 2019 is from young vines in la Guigasse (planted in 2013).