One of the best parts about being the General Manager at Gaslight is that I am lucky enough to curate our wine list. It’s not always as fun and exciting as it sounds, but certainly rewarding! I’ve kissed an awful lot of frogs before meeting the princes, but occasionally, I find a wine that kisses back in the princely-ist of ways. A week or so ago, I was privileged enough to find a wine that did just that, so naturally, I snapped it up and added it to our list. Come check out Domaine de Beaurenard’s exquisite “Gran Partita” 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape. Not only is this wine stunning, but it has a great story that matches the quality of the adult-grape-juice inside the bottle.
But first a little about Chateauneuf in general. One of my favorite regions, Chateauneuf du Pape exploded onto the wine scene in 2000 when Guigal’s offering was the Wine of the Year. A somewhat obscure and ignored region became highly collected and praised… one might even go so far as to say a household name entering the canon of Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy in terms of French regions of note for wine enthusiasts. Guigal’s wines are inky, dark, brooding, and full bodied with massive tannins and lifespans of 15+ years depending on the vineyard site. But one of the coolest things about Chateauneuf du Pape is that there can be a huge amount of variety in the style depending on the producer and the blend of grapes used (they can blend up to 13 varietals) although most people focus on either Grenache of Syrah. If Guigal’s wines are the beast, Beaurenard’s are the beauty.
Domaine du Beaurenard is doing something really cool and innovative and maybe a little nostalgic with their 2012 “Gran Partita”… That is, they are using all 13 varietals, but only in the best years when all 13 of the varieties of grapes get to optimal stages of ripeness and ultimately contribute to the complexity of the wine. I was blown away when I learned this and tasted the wine, and can definitely say that this is one of the most complex and interesting Chateauneufs that I have had the joy of drinking. A ripe dark berry nose is followed by a silky mouthfeel and layers of earthy goodness that go on and on with a finish that won’t quit like Kardashian curves.
But wait, there’s more and here is the really cool story that tied it ALL together for me!
The name “Gran Partita” references a multi-movement work by W.A. Mozart with the same title. The connection comes in not only because of the poetry of the piece of music, but also because Mozart’s “Gran Partita” is scored for 13 instruments. Being a classical musician by training myself, I was instantly pulled in by the reference. If you’ve ever seen the movie Amadeus, you will probably remember the scene when Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) encounters Mozart (Tom Hulse) for the first time. Abraham delivers a beautiful soliloquy about the third movement of the Gran Partita that sums up the qualities of Beaurenard’s “Gran Partita” IMHO. Click the link and check out this amazing scene and then come in and have the wine for yourself. I think you’ll agree that at first the wine is deceptively simple, but as you taste and drink the layers of flavor unfold on the palete and the finish stays with you long after you’ve downed your glass/bottle.
Stop by soon! We were only able to purchase six bottles to share with you. Ask for me, Greg, when you’re here. I would LOVE to introduce you to this stunner. I know you’ll be hooked right away just as I was.