2015 Domaine des Senechaux Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Year: 2015
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 92+
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :

"Solid, with a youthfully tight core of crushed cherry and kirsch fruit underlined by tar, cedar, tobacco and sanguine notes. Shows good depth and length in reserve here, so cellar to let this fill in and stretch out fully. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2020 through 2030. 5,000 cases made, 300 cases imported. -JM" (WS)

"The burly, tannic 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is a wine for the future, not the present. Cola and black olive notes accent purple raspberries and cherries in this full-bodied, richly concentrated wine. Give it another 2-3 years in the cellar before broaching a bottle.

This historic estate was purchased by the Cazes family (of Bordeaux fame) in 2006, an acquisition that rocked this insular world at the time, notable for the price paid and the outsider status of the purchaser. Perhaps driven in part by that notoriety, the pursuit of ever-higher quality has been a constant over the course of their ownership. Throughout it all, Bernard Tranchecoste has presided as the estate's technical director. He arrived at the property in 1998 and assumed his current role in 2001. All of the vinifications are performed in concrete, with the majority of the aging for the Grenache taking place in foudres. Syrah and Mourvèdre are aged in second use barriques. During my visit, Tranchecoste presented short verticals of both the red and white wines (only a single cuvée of each is produced)." (WA)

Winery Notes:
The ancient vineyard of Châteauneuf-du-Pape became world famous when the Popes settled in Avignon in 1350. It later became the first French appellation d’origine contrôlée in 1933 under the influence of Baron Le Roy.

Lying in the heart of this illustrious appellation, the 14th-century Domaine des Sénéchaux is among the region’s oldest wineries. It gets its name from one of the estate’s principal plots, located in the “Bois Sénéchaux” neighborhood.

The Vintage:
The end of winter was colder than usual, causing a delay in budbreak, although the vines caught up again in spring. The clusters came out evenly and the owners developed in good conditions. The green harvest, in July, was primarily focused on the younger vines of all the grape varieties. Strong Mistral winds marked the year, with “gusts reaching over 100km/hr”. Rain in spring and August prevented any stress for the vines, but slightly delayed ripening. The sanitary state was perfect up to the end of harvesting.

Tasting Note:
Intense, jammy fruit (crushed raspberry-strawberry) and blackberry, with lovely spice notes. Oak ageing has provided the characteristic notes of the spirit and terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A structured, full, smooth mouthfeel with marked tannins. Ripe fruit aromas, spices (liquorice root, cinnamon) and excellent freshness. The finish features plum, leather and roasted notes. The delicate oakyness gives finesse, body and good length.