The 2016 vintage may be the finest vintage in the Southern Rhône in the last quarter century, and Domaine du Vieux Lazaret’s 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape more than reflects the bounty of the vintage, having garnered 92 points from James Suckling and 93 points from Wine Spectator. Purity, beautifully ripe fruit, and exceptional energy are the hallmarks of the vintage and all are front and center in Domaine du Vieux Lazaret’s 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A beguiling set of aromatics replete with ripe berries, black fruits, violets, and garrigue, the savory wild herbs of Provençal hillsides, sets the stage for the mouth filling flavors that well up in this wine to seduce the palate. A treasure trove of ripe berry flavors infused with hints of Asian spices, rose petals and cracked pepper fill the mouth and satiate the palate. Full-bodied, yet fresh and alive with an irresistible vibrancy, the 2016 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Châteauneuf-du-Pape positively sings from the glass. This is a Châteauneuf-du-Pape that already drinks beautifully, even at a tender young age, yet it is built to last and will handsomely repay cellaring for those patient enough to store some away. Flavor, vibrancy and impeccable balance make this classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine du Vieux Lazaret a fitting tribute to Jérôme Quiot. Enjoy this exceptional Châteauneuf-du-Pape now and for the next decade. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest at least thirty minutes of aeration before serving at cool room temperature (58°-62° F).
Châteauneuf-du-Pape complements a wide variety of foods, from game prepared with elaborate sauces to simple unadorned pizzas. Classic Provençal specialties provide exceptional accompaniments to the 2016 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Regional favorites such as gigot d’agneau (roast leg of lamb) and savory lamb stew are perennial favorites that promise a memorable meal and an equally satisfying evening when paired with the Quiot family’s 2016 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Lamb, prepared almost any way one can imagine, provides a splendid opportunity to highlight the full, rich flavors of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as the flavors of the meat are simultaneously enhanced and mellowed by the wine. Nevertheless, Domaine du Vieux Lazaret’s classic, full-bodied 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape pairs equally well with other foods. Fine cuts of beef, venison, wild boar, and many vegetarian specialties such as ratatouille made with eggplant, squash and Herbes de Provence make wonderful accompaniments to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Braised beef short ribs served with roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta; ravioli stuffed with lobster; and tortellini made with fresh peas and prosciutto provide other excellent accompaniments. Furthermore, the 2016 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret, like its predecessors, has the ability to elevate simple, well-prepared foods to the status of haute cuisine, so no need to worry about what to serve: it will stand and deliver. Bon Appétit!
The late Jérôme Quiot, proprietor of Domaine du Vieux Lazaret, was one of the movers and shakers in what many wine critics claim to be the finest appellation in France. Quiot himself played an integral role in the administration of the appellation system in France, a process that not so ironically was born in Châteauneuf-du-Pape during the 1920s. He was also a proponent of the fleshy, seductive style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and as the proprietor of the largest estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape he did much to modernize the appellation and solidify its reputation as the preeminent appellation of the Southern Rhône. Quiot’s family remains in control and continues Jérôme’s incredible work, ever pushing the envelope in fashioning aromatic, immensely pleasing red Châteauneuf-du-Pape from all 13 of the appellation’s legal red grape varieties. With a substantial, well-established property of nearly 250 acres to exploit, Domaine du Vieux Lazaret’s wines remain at the forefront of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the Rhône Valley’s most important appellation. Located in Provence, astride the swift moving Rhône River, this sun-drenched locale is blessed with a dry Mediterranean climate that is nearly ideal for the cultivation of vines and the production of wine. Châteauneuf-du-Pape possesses some of the oldest vines in France; the average age of the vines in the region is in excess of 40 years, by far the oldest of any major appellation in France. And many of those vines are 80-100 years of age. In addition, the entire production of this great wine is hand harvested. Moreover, we have not yet mentioned the region’s fabulous terroir – large flat stones known as galets roulés that are mingled with plenty of decomposed gravel. The remnants of Alpine glaciers that once covered southern France, Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s glacial till provides excellent drainage and imparts subtle nuances of flavor to the appellation’s outstanding wines, which can be both red and white and contain up to thirteen legal grape varieties, including Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Muscardin, Counoise, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, Roussanne, Terret Noir, Picardan, and Vaccarèse. A case can be made that there are actually fourteen legal grape varieties in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as Grenache can be either a red or white grape.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, meaning the Pope’s new castle, derives its name from the sprawling edifice that the Roman popes built as a summer palace during the Babylonian Captivity. Forced to flee the political tumult of Rome from 1305-1378, Pope Clement V, a Frenchman, and his successor John XXII, left indelible marks on the history of wine by planting vines around their château and producing some of the medieval world’s most noteworthy wines. Later, during the 1920s, Châteauneuf-du-Pape would once again play a significant role in the history of wine by voluntarily adopting a set of controls and guidelines put forth by Baron Le Roy of Château Fortia. This action became the model for the entire French system of Appellation Control and nearly all other subsequent attempts to guarantee the authenticity of wine and improve the wine of individual geographic locales.
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