Co-op must have been pleased with themselves when they got the green light to produce a Co-op Châteauneuf-Du-Pape for their expanding Truly Irresistible range. Ok, this particular wine has stood proudly on their top shelf for quite a while now, but better late than never… here are my thoughts on it.
The Châteauneuf-Du-Pape rulebook says up to 18 grape varieties are allowed to be blended in the region’s cuveé. But this blend uses only most popular three: Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre — the grapes that make up the Côtes du Rhône’s famous GSM blend.
Does this mean it’s a simplified version of Châteauneuf-Du-Pape? Yes, this is a supermarket version of the famously pricey wine after all, so you’re not going to get all the complexity and subtly balanced nuances found in an expensive one. But does it retain the Châteauneuf’s trademark deep plum colour, rich flavour and firm tannins? Yep, of course it does.
Cherry and blackberry dominant, with a slight spicy chocolate undertone. on the palate it’s red fruits with a slightly astringent tannin finish. This is a very young wine wine though (from 2016) that will soften with age. And if you can’t wait three years to open it (you impatient so and so) you can decant it for a couple of hours instead.
Of course, you’re always going to pay a bit more for the Châteauneuf name, but (unless your friends are really posh) this is a wine that’ll make you popular at parties.
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If you’re looking for something cheaper but on similar lines, some of the lesser-known Côtes du Rhône blends represent good value — especially ones from outside France. Co-op also sell a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Viognier from South Africa by the South African producer Zalze, which is pretty good and won’t result in a bailiffs and a remortgage.
4 NINJA STARS
Co-op Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2016: £14.99. 14% vol.
For more about Châteauneuf-Du-Pape see https://wineninjas.org/2016/10/18/what-is-chateauneuf-du-pape/ and https://wineninjas.org/2017/09/08/tesco-gsm-wine-review/