LA CELESTIERE TRADITION, CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE
RHONE VALLEY, FRANCE 2013
With a string of great vintages in the last two decades, the wines of the Southern Rhone, especially Chateauneuf-du-Pape, seemed unstoppable in their climb to fame. Icons like Vieux Telegraphe, Pegau, Beaucastel, and Clos des Papes all received top ratings from critics around the world, but with dozens of wines receiving perfect scores on warmer vintages, many other wineries followed suit using extended macerations, increased punch downs, micro-oxygenation, and other winery techniques to manipulate a riper, bigger style of wine. Somewhere-somehow, Chateauneuf-du-Pape seemed to adapt a whole new modern style with fruit and power as the focus of the wine.
But this hasn’t always been the case for the appellation. In fact, it was quite the opposite. While Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre dominate, the appellation allows up to 15 other varieties to be planted in the vineyards to be used in a blend. And with a diverse, mineral-rich terroir, most notably the well-draining quartzite galets, the wines here were all about the struggle of the vines pushing through rocks in search of water. Thankfully, there are still some who haven’t forgotten. Today I am pleased to introduce a winery that was established with a singular goal of making wines in the Southern Rhone the same way they had been made for centuries - La Celestiere.
Founded in 2009 by Noel Joyce, winemaker at a Provencal winery Chateau Dalmeran, La Celestiere is one of the most exciting young wineries in the Rhone. Owning 26 hectares of vines spread across 3 different lieux-dits: la Croze, les Gallimardes, and Valori, most of the vines were planted between 1918 and 1920, producing wines that are dense and have “soul”, too often missing in the modern examples of the appellation.
The winery has been certified as biodynamic from Agriculture Biologique, with all the work in the vineyard done by hand and animals used for fertilization and weed management. In addition to the naturally low yields of the century-old vines, La Celestiere chooses to further lower the yields down to 2000 liters per hectare, far below the appellation limits, to ensure an energy and concentration that can’t be mimicked through modern winemaking techniques.
In the winery, gravity moves the wine from tank to tank and only neutral foudres and concrete vats are used for aging to preserve the terroir character of the wine. Each Lieu-dit is vinified separately until the final blend. The results here are riveting. Somewhat reminiscent of their Northern Rhone neighbors, the wines of La Celestiere are unapologetically old-world. Today’s wine, La Celestiere’s 2013 Chateauneuf -du-Pape Tradition, is a blend of the three lieux-dits with rich, concentrated dark fruit balanced out by earth, game and garrigue, capturing the essence of what truly is Chateauneuf-du-Pape. For one week, we are offering the 2013 La Celestiere Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tradition for up to 20% off when you buy 6 or more bottles. While we have been able to secure a strong allocation, at prices this low, we anticipate the wines to sell out. We suggest acting quickly to secure you order.
*This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in June/July 2018. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in NY, TN and WI. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, that will expire on Thursday, February 22, 2018.