Once the fearsome titan of the wine world, Châteauneuf-du-Pape seems to have lost some its luster. And I do mean the rouges. The blancs (bless them, because when they are on they are magnificent) have been seemingly stuck in the wine underworld for half of an eternity now. Even the world’s greatest Rhône collectors can barely hear Châteauneuf’s heartbeat.
But like the great ones, once you count them out, they come roaring back. 2015 (and 2016) is the much-needed comeback story for the appellation. Two magical vintages producing sublime, spell-bounding wines, a good ol’ resurrection, a hook that both dusty old school collectors and high and tight hipster somms can easily attach themselves to. This is even more important for lesser known, smaller estates. Veux Telegraph or Beaucastel have the coffers to survive a nuclear Armageddon, I’m talking about the small guys like Bois de Boursan, whose 2015 represents one of the best 2015 Châteauneufs-du-Pape we’ve ever tasted. Period.
Note from Importer Neal Rosenthal, with whom we wholeheartedly agree. This wine stopped everyone in the store in their tracks. This is Rayas-esque - elegance, freshness, perfume and complexity: “This is a wine of such dazzlingly gorgeous aromatics as to provoke a smile of disbelief. Rarely does one meet a nose of such visceral beauty in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and one must pay easily thrice or more what this wine costs to do so. It is multidimensional, offering a full spectrum of fruits, from bright red to dark black, a warm, palpable stoniness, an intoxicating interplay of spice and truffle, and a whiff of animale that is both charming and seductive. Despite the wine’s density—due to the warmth and generosity of the 2015 growing season—there is plenty of room to breathe, and a sense of palate-cleansing freshness due to truly superb acidity for the appellation. This wine has a generosity of spirit that is irresistible, and it manages to be both friendly and profound in the way only truly great, traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape can be. It wears its 14.2% alcohol—modest by today’s standards in a warm year here—with impeccable grace.”
2015 Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape
More about the Wine
Like all of Rosenthal’s portfolio, the catch for Boursan is how good, yet remarkably un-catchy the wine is. There is no fuss, no pretension. For lovers of true, old-style Rhône wines, Domaine Bois de Boursan in Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a rare gift.
Boursan’s Jean-Paul Versino has kept the old ways alive. Like his father before him, very little, if anything is destemmed. He never uses selected yeasts, never fines, and never filters. Everything is placed in foudres that have raised half a century’s worth of vintages before them. Furthermore, all thirteen of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s legally permitted varieties can be found among Jean-Paul’s extremely old vines (between 55 and 95 years of age), and all make their way into the wines—a rarity in the appellation.
Trust us when when we say this: this is Châteauneuf-du-Pape not only to delight the connoisseur but to win new converts, and we are thrilled to share this with you. The 2015 is simply breathtaking in its complexity and sheer delight. It is hard to square what is in the bottle against the tariff some of the more well-known names command.
Even Ian - hardly a lover of the Southern Rhône - is buying a box of this. Do. Not. Miss. This.