Chateau Mont-Redon Chateauneuf du Pape 2007
65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, 5% Mourvedre and 5% supporting varieties: Counoise, Muscardin and Vaccarese. Chateau Mont-Redon's 200 acres of vineyards occupy Chateauneuf-du-Pape's most extraordinary microclimates, and are among few to include all three soils types of the region. On its plateau's summit, planted in Grenache and Syrah, is a deep layer of large, round stones over clay subsoil which deeply root the vine and also act as a natural incubator, radiating heat absorbed during the day into the grapes by night. At the plateau's foot, sandy soils support Mourvèdre and Cinsault vines; these lend richness and aroma to complete the structure of the Grenache and Syrah. White vines are planted on the plateau's pebbled limestone slopes. The estate's vines are carefully maintained at an average 45 years of age, resulting in a long-term yield of 30 hectolitres per hectare (135 cases per acre), or 30,000 cases a year. At harvest, the grapes are hand-picked and sorted. The red grapes mature within a prescribed period and proportions of varieties are fermented together, allowing enhanced extraction of color and tannin due to differentials in skin density and juice ratio, resulting in greater depth and complexity than if fermented separately. Three cuvées are assembled in this manner. The first, of 70 percent Grenache, 20 percent Syrah and 10 percent Mourvèdre, represents the wine's structural element; the second, of 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Syrah, contributes depth of color and tannin; the third, of 70 percent Grenache, 15 percent Cinsault, 7 percent Syrah and the balance Muscardin, Counoise and Vaccarese, lends the blend aroma. The bunches are 90 to 95 percent destemmed and crushed, and fermentation is offset by natural yeasts in temperature controlled vats at 30° to 32°C (86° to 89°F) over 8 to 10 days, followed by a maceration of up to two weeks. The cuvées are pressed and maintained separately for malolactic fermentation and aging. The first cuvée is racked into new oak barriques for a period of 6 to 8 months, racked, and returned to barrique for another 6 to 8 months. The second cuvée spends a similar period in barriques of two to three years' use. The third cuvée is aged for 10 to 14 months in old oak vats. The final blend is assembled, egg-white fined and allowed to marry for three to four months prior to bottling.