Châteauneuf du Pape: Domaine Saint Gayan 'Belle Jeanne' Blanc 2021
This is the inaugural vintage of a cracking white Chateauneuf' from long-standing Gigondas supplier Domaine Saint Gayan, who have owned a small parcel of vines in this illustrious appellation since 1987.
The Meffre family have been vignerons at Gigondas since the 17th Century, and in 1987 they seized the opportunity to acquire three-quarters of a hectare of old (mostly Grenache Noir) vines in the north–east sector of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, sandwiched between Beaucastel and Domaine de la Janasse at Courthèzon. Thirty years later these vines had to be 'grubbed up' and the land was re-planted to white varieties, making them the only estate in the appellation solely producing white Châteauneuf'.
|Style||White Wine, Sec, Full-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Châteauneuf du Pape|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Piquepoul|
|Food & Wine Matching||Salads, White Fish|
|Cellarage||Drink 2022 to 2025.|
|Vinification||Clairette rose 30%; Clairette blanche 20%; Picpoul blanc 20%; Grenache blanc 20%; Bourboulenc 10%. Young, five year-old vines are hand-harvested, hydraulically-pressed and cold fermented, prior to over-wintering on the lees in amphoras made of a clay & sand mixture.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||14|
Domaine Saint Gayan (Jean-Pierre Meffre)
The Meffres have been vignerons at Gigondas since the 17th Century and have played a key role in the success of the appellation. Roger Meffre (Jean-Pierre's father) was president of the Syndicat des Vignerons de Gigondas and was instrumental in winning Appellation Contrôllée status for Gigondas in 1971 and changing the law regarding the wine's Grenache content (raised from a maximum of 65% to 85% in 1985).
The 34 hectare Domaine Saint Gayan holds 12 hectares in their home village of Gigondas and is now run largely by Jean-Pierre and Martine's daughter Julie and her husband and winemaker Christian Yves Carré de Lusançay. It is one of the commune's finest estates and likely to release wines at their leisure, when ready to drink. Large oak barrels are mainly used for maturation though a number of clay amphorae have recently been installed. Whole-bunch fermentation is de rigeur.
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