2016 Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Renaissance

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2016 Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Renaissance

Rich and intensely glycerol in texture, Rennaisance feels the most voluptuous of Domaine de Cristia's 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape bottlings. Blackberry and plum flavors are plush and spicy, accented by notes of char, smoke and licorice. Tannins are fine grained but firm and mouth dampening now. Hold till 2020. This bold, structured wine should improve through 2030.

Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE
The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance is also a slightly more restrained, elegant version of the cuvée, yet that doesn’t mean it lacks concentration or depth. Terrific notes of black and blue fruits, violets, peppered meats, and licorice all emerge from this full-bodied, tight, backward beauty that’s going to need 4-5 years of bottle age. As normal, the blend is 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, brought up in one-third new oak barrels and the balance in demi-muids.

Jeb Dunnuck | 95+ JD
Bright violet. Highly perfumed red fruit preserve, incense and potpourri scents are complemented by suave baking spice and vanilla flourishes. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering intense Chambord, cherry pie, lavender and cola flavors and a touch of succulent herbs. Shows excellent clarity and spicy thrust on the gently tannic finish, which emphatically repeats the red fruit and floral notes.

Vinous Media | 94 VM
Warm and inviting, with waves of dark plum, cassis and blackberry puree pouring forth, inlaid with light ganache and graphite threads. The plush and velvety feel through the finish puts this squarely in the hedonist camp. Best from 2020 through 2035. 600 cases made, 150 cases imported.

Wine Spectator | 94 WS
A blend of 60% Grenache (from 110-year-old vines) and 40% Mourvèdre (from 50-year-old vines), the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Renaissance features hints of cedar and baking spices (a portion of the Mourvèdre was aged in new oak). It's full-bodied, supple and creamy in texture, with a long, cola-tinged and slightly warm finish. It should drink well for at least a decade.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RP

Wine Details on 2016 Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Renaissance

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Producer Domaine de Cristia: Born in the 1950s in the lieu-dit of la Cristia, for which it takes its name, Domaine de Cristia had a humble beginning on 2 hectares of Grenache vines in the Southern Rhone Valley. Its founder, Etienne Grangeon, procured the small plot and began his family’s winegrowing business. Three generations later, this family with great love of its terroir, has expanded its holdings and has become one of the greatest producers in the appellation of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape.

In the early days, like many Rhone producers of that time, the entire production of Cristia was sold in bulk to negociants. In 1963, Alain Grangeon joined his father in the family business, and the eventual control of the domaine would be under his direction. His passion for viticulture would lead Cristia to new heights, elevating its quality and helping to bring the domaine closer to a new era. Under his tutelage the expansion of the family estate began with the planting of improving grape varieties such as Syrah and Mourvedre. His knowledge and respect of predominately sandy soils and the varieties known to excel in them was fantastic foresight. This endeavor contributed to the rise in quality and ultimately to the Cristia Identity.

In 1999 Baptiste and Dominique joined their father, Alain, and together brought Cristia into the modern era. The domaine had been bottling their own wines at miniscule levels and while it was not produced for commercial sale, it was a prelude to the future of the domaine. The year Alain’s two sons joined the domaine was also the year that Cristia would begin bottling 100% of its production. With this accomplished, Baptiste and Dominique went to work in optimizing plot selection so as to produce high quality wines for aging in bottles and to market them both in France and for export.

Today, three generations of winegrowers, with their affection and care of the terroir, their passion for viticulture and respect for nature cultivate 42 hectares of Domaine de Cristia, spread across multiple appellations. The family estate now has 9-hectares in Cotes-Du-Rhone Villages, 5-hectares in Cotes-Du-Rhone and another 9-hectares used for Vin de Pays (wine from France). Their ambitious nature has also allowed Domaine de Cristia to grow, build and become more anchored within the Chateauneuf-Du-Pape appellation with 18 hectares now under vine.

The terroir of Cristia’s Chateauneuf-Du-Pape plots are composed of 90% sandy soils, mostly found in the la Cristia locality. These parcels benefit from a north-east exposure which gives the vines a beautiful freshness and produces grapes with supple, elegant tannins, lending to longevity of the wine. A single parcel located in l’Arnesque farther east in the appellation is covered with rolled pebbles cast among the soil at the time of the glaciers and enjoys permanent sunshine. The pebbles are vital to the vines as they absorb the sun’s heat during the day and transfer it into the soil overnight optimizing phenolic and alcoholic maturities. This combination of terroirs is instrumental in obtaining the characteristic of Domaine de Cristia wine.

The Cotes-Du-Rhone, Cotes-Du-Rhone Villages and Vin de Pays plots are spread over the lieu-dit of Courthezon very near the appellation of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, and possess a terroir of essentially sandy soils, allowing it to produce wines in the same lineage as the Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. The predominant grape variety used to produce Cristia wines is Grenache, with it being 85% of its vines among all its plots. Syrah is planted to 10%, Mourvedre at 5% and Cinsault is a new arrival to the blending process bringing with it a new aromatic palette. Clairette and Roussanne are planted in miniscule amounts and used to produce the domaine’s white wines.

Domaine de Cristia produces four Chateauneuf-Du-Papes, three red and a white, with a total annual production of around 4,500 cases. The domaine also produce multiple Cotes-Du-Rhones and a single-varietal, Grenache Vin de pays.

Three generations of winegrowing knowledge has brought the Cristia family domaine from two to 42 hectares, elevating its quality and placing them in the category of the appellation’s best wines. Their philosophy has been to cultivate the land as naturally as possible allowing nature to dictate the terms while using their experience to best comply with it.
Region Rhone: While the Northern Rhone produces only about 5% of all wine coming out of the Rhone Valley, the quality of these bottles is not to be underestimated. The terroir in this region is heavenly for growing Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne or Rousanne - the only permitted grapes in the AOC. Picture this - the Rhone flows through the valley like an azure thread piercing the landscape, a reflection of the dreamy skies hovering above the vineyards, ready to produce rainfall at a moment's notice. The rocky soil of the steep, almost surreal hillsides provides a bountiful feast for the grapevine roots. The flavors and texture of Northern Rhone wines tell you everything you need to know as soon as your lips touch the elixir, like a whisper in the vigorous valley winds

As per the Southern Rhone wine, it is like taking a plunge into a whirlpool of juicy flavor. Every sip explodes forward like a crashing tsunami, bathing your tastebuds in delicious aromas of prune, chocolate, grass, and black fruit. The wines are so compelling that it can be hard to drink them casually at a social event without getting lost in their intricate textures and emotional depths. Let's set sail together, and drink deep from these luxurious bottles with our friends and loved ones.
Country France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.
Type of Wine Chateauneuf du Pape: You can expect Chateauneuf-du-Pape reds selection to wash over you with a combination of leather, game, tar, and delicious dried herbs, creating a spice mixture that commands respect from even the harshest non-believers. Chateauneuf-du-Pape whites are ever so refreshing and bold, frolicking in a field of floral notes and earthy minerals.
Varietal Proprietary Blend: Proprietary Blend is a general term used to indicate that a wine is comprised of multiple grape varietals which are either “proprietary” to the winery or is blended and does not meet the required maximum or minimum percentage of a particular varietal. This also is the case for the grape’s place of origin, especially for region, appellation or vineyard designated wines. There are endless examples of blended wines which are labeled as “Proprietary Blend” and in conjunction with each region’s stipulated wine laws and regulations makes for a vast blanket for wines to fall into. Perhaps the simplest example is California; if a wine is to be labeled as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, it is required to have at least 75% of the varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and 85% of the fruit must be cultivated from the Napa Valley wine district. If the wine does not meet the requirements, it is then labeled as Proprietary Blend.

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