Château Mont-Redon owns 100 hectares of the most perfectly-sited vineyards in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. More than half of their vineyards are planted on “diluvium alpin” soil on the highest Mistral (dry southern winds) blown plateaus of the appellation at elevations above 500 feet. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is famous for it’s “galet’s” or round, heat absorbing pebbles that have been shaped and polished over thousands of years by the Rhône River and spread over time along the appellations highest plains. In some portions of the vineyard this layer can exceed 2 meters in depth forcing the vines roots deep in search of the layer of red clay that lies beneath. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grown in these conditions produce wines that are generous, powerful, tannic and concentrated.
The remaining vineyards sit in two distinct soils, the first being primarily sand that was created when the Rhône River shifted course bringing with it the smallest parts of the soil, which broke into smaller pieces still (sand). These soils increases the aromatic character of Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre.
Urgonian Limestone soils make up the remaining vineyards. Soils here are shallower and give excellent results with the white varieties, rich with aromas of white and citrus fruits.
The rolled pebbles soil of the plateau of Mont-Redon indeed constitutes one of the emblematic terroirs of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. Considered by a large number of grand cru experts as the greatest terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the plateau is exposed to the Mistral wind and enjoys the best of Provence’s climate with optimal sun exposure. This terroir is all the more exceptional by its geological cut view, showing that the rolled pebbles are present over two meters deep which, paired with the “safre” (sandy soil), allows for wonderful draining properties. Thin clayish layers overlap underground, meaning that the vines never suffer from acute hydric stress during heat waves. This combination of pebbles, sandy soil and clay is what makes this terroir great.
The philosophy underlying the Château Mont-Redon Châteauneuf-du-Pape resides in selecting, aging and blending of the best of the three terroirs of Mont-Redon (sandy soil, calcareous soil and pebbles). At Château Mont-Redon we operate a three-step sorting process. The first sorting happens in the vineyard during harvest, then during harvest reception thanks to our optical sorting tables.
The second step happens after the malolactic fermentations. We set apart the batches which do not meet our quality criteria to be sold in bulk. The best batches are then kept for maturing which is done 50% in barrels and 50% in stainless steel tanks. After a year of aging we proceed to one last sorting operation and then sell the batches which have not reached quality expectations, or those which do not harmonize with the final blend to keep nothing but the best of the best. The proportion of what we sell in bulk can reach up to 50% of harvest depending on vintages.
The « Plateau de Mont-Redon » cuvee lies upon the same principles, but is the expression of a single terroir: the pebbles, in the vintages where it reaches exceptional character. For this very first vintage (2016: a very great year in Châteauneuf-du-Pape), it is a blend of 60% Grenache noir and 40% Syrah. Approximately 60% of the blend is matured for 18 months in Burgundian barrels (228 liters). During the aging process, barrels destined for the Plateau de Mont-Redon cuvee are tasted one by one, to keep the best only. The barrels which were not selected can either be added to our Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château Mont-Redon, or be sold in bulk depending on their characteristics. After these 18 months of aging, the final blend rests “en masse” for 10 additional months before bottling.
The Chateau Mont-Redon red Châteauneuf-du-Papes open up and come into their own five to eight years after the harvest, but they can age over ten years depending on the vintage and the storage conditions.
Score: 97 PointsJames Suckling Author: James Suckling
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