"La Clef de St Thomas" Châteauneuf du Pape red, made from selected old vines, is charming and crisp... Dominated by fruit (blackberries, in particular), balsamic notes (antiques wax) and mild spices (cinnamon). Surprisingly rounded, and definitely worth discovering. Scored by Parker for the first time in October 2009.
Grape varieties :
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre.
Stony plateau, sandy/chalky depending on the plot.
Grapes are hand-picked in crates with sorting at the vine.
At first dominated by fruit (blackberries especially), the nose evolves when aerated towards balsamic notes (antiques wax, tobacco) and mild spices (cinnamon). Smooth and gentle, this cuvée has a marked flavour of cherries in eau de vie. The finish narrows its focus with light tannins that confer notes of spice bread, coffee and tobacco, with appealing minerality to end.
The grapes are fully destemmed, fermented at 25°C, then undergo 15-20 days' maceration in 30-50 hl tanks. Matured in 'barriques' and 'demi-muids' for 8-14 months.