The 2014 Domaine de la Solitude is a modern, polished Châteauneuf-du-Pape lacking the sometimes over-ripeness of its peers. This cuvée is about half Grenache, one-third Syrah, with the balance Cinsault and Mourvèdre. The vineyard, carpeted in galets roulés, is farmed sustainably with yields of a modest 29 hectoliters per hectare. The must fermented with temperature control, and the lots aged separately for 18 months in a mix of tank and barrel.
The wine needs air to blow off its slight sulfurous funk, but afterward the fragrance exudes black pepper and blackberries dusted with dried rosemary and thyme. The palate is an infusion of blackness, too: bramble fruits, black pepper, almost bacon. It has a pleasant feral undertow.
It’s ready enough now (with decanting), but firm tannins give it the structure to age for ten years or longer. Pair it with medium-aged cheeses and cured meats, the aïoli platter, lamb, smoked or slow-roasted pork shoulder, and flavorful cuts of beef. Vegetarians and vegans should try seasonings like sundried tomato, porcini powder, and roasted nut oils.
2014 Domaine de la Solitude Rouge Châteauneuf-du-Pape
14.5% abv | $45 (sample) Imported by Shiverick Imports
Domaine de la Solitude