Tap, tap, tap. What’s that? Knock, knock, knock. Who is it? BANG, BANG, BANG!!! Got your attention? Good. That would be a table … and we are BANGING THE TABLE on what we can only describe as the most exciting new southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape to be exact, wine to hit our shelves EVER! When you’ve been in business 34 years, that’s one bold statement; but when you’ve been in business 34 years, you’ve got some good connections. A few weeks ago, through one of these connections, a sample bottle of the 2009 Tour de l’Isle Châteauneuf-du-Pape was popped for our staff at the end of a hectic work day. With 6 of us gathered ’round the tasting table, the Tour de l’Isle CdP didn’t stand a chance of leaving TWH any other way than via the recycle bin. Just ask any of us about this wine, as we were collectively blown away! Think pure, yummy Grenache goodness. Plenty of ripe dark berry fruit, cracked black pepper, and an earthy spice dominate the aromatics; the palate is bursting with power as the fruit, earth, and spice mesh seamlessly with the robust structure of this textbook Châteauneuf! The finish is complex and lively with great length. Seriously, we are so dang excited to be representing this wine, we cannot contain ourselves.
| The Skinny:
Tour de l’Isle’s Robert Rocchi has been involved with the wines of the southern Rhône for over 30 years. After college, he began working for his uncle, a Côtes du Rhône producer. He was involved in all aspects of his uncle’s business from growing to vinifying to international marketing. In 1991, he and his wife purchased a portion of his uncle’s vineyard, opened a large retail wine store and an old-fashioned wine bar, and the Tour de l’Isle brand was born. As their retail business thrived, they found the need to focus on expanding the brand, so they sold their vineyard. Rocchi then worked with a few carefully selected producers, first in the blending of, and then eventually by making his wines at the properties of the respective producers. 100% transparent, Robert lists each producer’s name on the back labels, and the wines come in boxes marked by each individual producer. Patrick Jaume makes this stunning Châteauneuf. His 2009 Tour de l’Isle Châteauneuf-du-Pape is made from 85% Grenache, 8% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, and 2% Cinsault.
You can sure take our word for it when it comes to the stunning value of this wine, but if you’re looking for additional confirmation, check out what some of the wine world’s heavy hitters have to say about the 2009 Tour de l’Isle Châteauneuf-du-Pape:
The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker: “The dense ruby/purple-tinged 2009 Châteauneuf du Pape Tour de l’Isle reveals tremendous opulence, power and richness. Pepper, spice box, garrigue and kirsch characteristics emerge from this full-bodied effort.It should drink nicely for a decade or more. A good sized estate of nearly 50 acres, Domaine des Chanssaud is owned by Patrick Jaume. 92 points”
Jancis Robinson, MW: “Dark ruby. Racy stuff without the intensity of many Châteauneufs but good balance and drinkability – which is not to be sneezed at. A sort of Domaine de Chevalier of Châteauneuf. Rather low key, but rather delicious. 17.5 points”
Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar’s Josh Raynolds: “Glass-staining ruby. Dark berries and potpourri on the highly fragrant nose. Ripe and fleshy on entry, then firmer in the mid-palate, offering blackberry and blueberry flavors that show an exotic quality. Closes on a sweet note, with seamless texture and very good fruit-driven persistence. 90 points”