93 Point Rated, Under $40 Chateauneuf du Pape

Bravo Neal Rosenthal and bravo Bois de Boursan! The 2014 Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf du Pape is about as good as it gets. Thank goodness there are still a few old-school, traditional, Chateauneuf producers out there. In an age when many Chateauneufs have gone super-ripe and a bit boozy for my taste, Bois de Boursan has held firm with their rustic, earthy, house style. For fans of old-school, traditional French wines, you’re gonna’ love this one.

2014 Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf du Pape

2014 Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf du Pape “Tradition”

93 points Vinous Media

I think I’ve consumed about a case of this in the past year at The Bull & Beggar. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but I’ve had my fair share, as this one is perfect with their food. At just 13.5% octane (that’s low for Chateauneuf and great for food) and with amazing notes of earthy spice, garrigue (herbal stuff), and fine-grained tannin, it’s great with classic, Southern French cuisine. But it’s not too shabby by itself either!

Vinous Media had this to say about the 2014: “Deep red. Red berries, garrigue and smoky minerals on the highly aromatic nose. Sappy and concentrated, offering intense red fruit liqueur and lavender pastille flavors that expand and become spicier with air. Very good concentration but appealing delicacy as well. Closes sweet, smoky and very long, with gentle tannins and excellent clarity and thrust. Drink through 2024.” Yep, pretty much spot-on, as Vinous almost always is.

Bois de Boursan is a traditional estate that uses all 13 of the permitted Chateauneuf grapes to craft their wine. Their vines average 50+ years of age, and all of the farming is done organically. They don’t de-stem, the cuvaison extends for at least 3 weeks, they ferment in foudres (large, neutral oak containers), and they don’t filter before bottling. All Chateauneuf used to be made this way, but it’s becoming harder to find versions that rely on this more natural, intuitive, hands on approach.

Other producers that fall into the “traditionalist’ camp include Beaucastel, Charvin, and Vieux Donjon. I love all of those, but you can almost buy a 6-pack of the Bois de Boursan for what you can buy 1 bottle of those for! Do the math, and I think you’ll discover that this is a great deal on a great wine. So the only thing left to do is pick some up, make a coq au vin or a short rib stew, and go to town. Hungry and thirsty yet? I am! See you soon and cheers to happy drinking and eating in Asheville!

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