These flavors were very different from the wines I enjoy, but was very intriguing. It’s almost like the smell of something weird, and tastes a little funny, but you can’t stop smelling (or tasting) it.
Chateauneuf du Pape has always intrigued me because of its name: It sound like the place where Smurfs would live. I will argue that there is some relevance to this as ‘Chatteau Neuf de Pape’ was named for the medieval castle where Pope John XXII, the second of the Avignon popes resided. Pope’s wear their mitre for special celebrations are kind of reminiscent to a smurf hat. Anyway… that’s how I remember it.
The body of the wine seemed to be medium with not much fruit flavor. It was tannic and tasted and smelled like truffle or mushroom right off the bat. I read a little on the wine and reviews said it would show cherries on the palate soon. I waited and decanted this for about two hours. This wine tasted like licorice, orange rind, and was a bit smoky at the back of my throat. These flavors were very different from the wines I enjoy, but was very intriguing. It’s almost like the smell of something weird, and tastes a little funny, but you can’t stop smelling (or tasting) it. Its almost like you want to see what it will change into. Eventually, the wine had a very leathery taste with a hint of fennel. A strange, savory combination. Chateauneuf du Pape flavors are rarely masked by ageing in new oak—the element that adds the vanilla and the sweetness that seems to round everything out.
It’s an honest type of wine. One that is cultivated organically and as previously mentioned, hardly ever aged in oak. It provides for a wide variety of flavors and aromas that it keeps changing with every sip. I cannot say for certain that this was something that I enjoyed or that it was easy drinking because it kept me on my toes. I kept asking myself, “Do I like it or not?” and “What does that taste or smell like?” If anything, this bottle took me on a journey with my senses and put my flavour and scent-naming to the test. Like the impy, little Smurfs this type of wine reminds me of, Chateauneuf du Pape is full of surprises.