2015 Cabrières Chateauneuf du Pape Tradition

$53

A blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mouvedre and 10% Cinsault . Deep in color with hints of blackberry, plum, sage, dried herbs and leather. The wine is lightly filtered and aged in used French oak barrels for 12 months before bottling. The production is slightly more than 9,000 cases per year.

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Red Blends Wines

One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.

Rhône Valley, France

For ease of describing the Rhône Valley, we will associate the region by two distinct areas: The Northern Rhône and the Southern Rhône. The Northern Rhône, follows the River Rhône essentially from Vienne in the north down to Valence in the south. Many of their vineyards are planted on slopes situated next to the river as the valley is quite narrow and steep. There is a cold strong wind in this area, called the mistral, which can quickly damage the vines, so the valley serves as protection. The black grape variety, Syrah, dominates in the Northern Rhône. In fact, in many of the smaller appellations and crus, it is the only black grape variety allowed and produced. These wines tend to be a deep color and boast bold black fruit flavors with black pepper and florals. There are a few areas that allow for production of the white grape varieties: Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Particularly, Condrieu and Château-Grillet appellations have a reputation for high-quality Viognier. The noteworthy crus of Northern Rhône  for red wine include (but not limited to) Côte-Rôtie, Saint-Joseph, Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and Cornas. 

To the south and closer to the Mediterranean Sea lies the much larger region of the Southern Rhône. With greater vineyard areas, the Southern Rhône is focused on predominantly red wine, but showcasing a vast range of red, white, and rosé wines from high-quality to inexpensive. Here the climate is considerably more warmer than in the north and the vineyards are on flatter terrain. The mistral winds are still of concern, so many of the vines are trained low to the ground for protection. To absorb some of the heat, many of the best vineyard sites have very stony soils. Particularly, in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the stones (or galets) are large and completely cover the soil surface. Black grape varieties Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault do best in this warm, sunny climate. Hence why you often see the term “GSM” Blend (meaning Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) coined from this region, which many other regions have now adopted and use for their blends using these grape varietals. While white grape varieties are a minority to this region, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Bourboulenc are grown here. Notable cru areas are Tavel, Lirac, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and the infamous, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Generic appellations of Côte du Rhône and Côte du Rhône Villages account for more than half of the entire production with the Southern Rhône, but don’t let the generic term fool you; These appellations, although not cru status, are also putting out some spectacular quality wines! 

The Arnaud family has owned the property at Château Cabrières for three generations. In 2009, Guy Arnaud handed over the estate to his daughter Agnes, who along with her husband Patrick now manage the vineyards and the cellar. The estate is situated 3 kilometers north of the village of Châteauneuf du-Pape on Departmental Road 68 toward the city of Orange. The vineyard is situated on the “High Terrrasses” which are characteristic of the northern area of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The terrain consists mainly of alpine diluvium and chalk miocenian soil with large flint pebbles stone covering the surface. These pebbles conserve the heat of the day during the night thus avoiding too much evaporation. Certain parcels were planted as early as 1900 and contain the 13 varieties allowed in Chateauneuf du Pape.

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