Domaine Santa Duc, Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge ‘La Crau Ouest’ 2016

£98.00 (75cl)

Only 5 left in stock


About the wine



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High above the Rhone, it is probably one of the proudest terroirs of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Exposed to the north, it creates straightforward, generous and complex wines. Deeply rooted in the soils of the Miocene, made of “safres” and sand, the eighty-year-old Grenache vines thrive accompanied by some traditional grape varieties from Châteuneuf-du-Pape. Large amplitudes between day and night temperatures mark the grapes with a fine and precise tannin structure. A terroir in which the biodynamic preparation 500 is of particular importance. The horn dung preparation revitalizes both soil flora and microbiological life and thereby preserves organic matter in these sandy and particularly heavily drained soils. Challenged by ageing in jars, the wines develop much tension and finesse, up to a burgundy-like character. Very qualitative sandy soil of La Crau Ouest. Hand picked with a very selective sorting, short and soft maceration. Soft punching down. In terracotta jars during 18 months to enhance fruit, minerality and authenticity of both terroir and grape variety. In depth, significantly more reddish brown soil and substantially more clayey, hardly calcareous. Many earthworm tunnels, down to 90cm (35 inches) deep underground.

About the producer

Yves Gras, a 4th generation vigneron, is one of the strongest personalities in the Southern Rhône; he is also very generous having helped many young wine producers to improve their techniques and to find some markets. Now joined by his son Benjamin, having finished his oenological education with a recent Stage at Domaine de la Romanée Conti, the dynamic, passionate and quality-driven duo continuously forge Domaine Santa Duc an enviable reputation.
Two soil types dominate the 23 hectares of vineyards (10 hectares in Gigondas) – one being the calcareous marls of Clos Derrière Vieille (hillside behind the old Hospices); the other being poor red stony clay soils of Les Hautes Garrigues, Les Carbonnières, Les Rocassières, Santa Duc, Les Pailleroudas, Le Goujard et Plane. Yves’ intense respect for his vines, his fruit and his wines guides his decision-making. He works to maintain biodiversity through organic farming (certified organic since 2012). It is integral to the work of the soil, the care & respect of the foliage, debudding, early harvesting, leaf removal; the ripe grapes are then picked by hand & gently crushed. Maceration for long periods to complex aromas and its coating of fine tannins, before being matured gently in oak barrels or foudres. At Domaine Santa Duc, they like to keep it simple. Cold maceration of fruit, indigenous yeasts, maturation on lees & bottling without filtration epitomise Yves’ approach. Since 2006, he has refined his style by shortening the time of cuvaison and by using different cooling methods, in order to reduce some of the severity that was previously characteristic of his wines. They still have plenty of local character and huge personality, but are certainly a little more approachable in their youth.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate (

Full-bodied, yet silky-airy-lacy in texture, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau Ouest is a marvel of elegance and finesse. Wonderfully detailed notes of ripe cherries, dried spices, rose petals and back tea expand on the palate, revealing great intensity, complexity and length. (Joe Czerwinski) Points: 95 - 97. Issue Date: 31/08/2019

Jeb Dunnuck (

Reminding me of a Grand Cru red Burgundy, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau Ouest (all Grenache from sandy soils) offers up a big blast of red fruits, spice, white flowers, and graphite. It’s beautifully detailed, delineated, and pure, with medium body, no hard edges, and a great finish. Shining more for its elegance and purity than power and richness, it’s going to drink brilliantly for 10-15 years. (Jeb Dunnuck) Points: 94. Date Tasted: 26/09/2018

Regions Vintage Report:

“After an exceptional 2015 vintage it’s difficult to believe that 2016 could match up to let alone deliver wines of superior quality. It was quite different in the North with fresher, fragrant whites and more subtle and elegant reds. But for once the South is where sublime wines were produced with some of the most impressive wines I have ever tasted! And to make things better they are not overly rich or heavy, but rather exceptionally balanced. Volumes are reasonable, especially compared to 2017 where quantities are very often 50% down on average” Christian Honorez DirectorThe North Following the superlative 2015 vintage it would be easy to downgrade 2016 wines. Of course, they do not have the intensity and ripeness of last year’s wines but they make up for it with beautiful fruit and great balance. One does not always look for muscle and structure in the North and many beautiful wines are produced in balanced vintages like 2016. Do not get me wrong, 2016 isn’t a weak and lean vintage, far from it, but the best wines are those capturing the essence of the Syrah grown in that part of France; perfumed, elegant and savoury. Moreover, of course a slightly cooler year benefitted the whites that are incredibly perfumed, rich but not overly ripe. The South It was difficult not to notice the broad smiles and the joy after the 2016 vintage. Two magnificent vintages producing decent yields will certainly help the producer’s cash flow, especially after a few challenging vintages and the prospect of notably reduced volumes in 2017. The whites are rich, perfumed with enough freshness to carry the ripeness through. Many of them will evolve beautifully for several years, but of course, the ‘piece de resistance’ are the magnificent reds. Ripe, juicy, with just enough structure, elegant tannins and a good dose of freshness; I cannot remember having tasted so many great wines from a single vintage. The easiest ones are so appealing that I wanted to decant them into a bottle to drink the same day, despite knowing that they will last and improve for many years. Some wines are a touch more austere and will require 2 or 3 years cellaring, but for many of us the problem will be to resist the charm and appeal of these young wines. I will certainly buy as much as possible to enjoy over the next 10+ years.Christian Honorez, Director November 2017©adVINture 2020

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