Variety: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Counoise, Muscardin and Vaccarese
Country Region: France, Southern Rhône Valley
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 8% Mourvedre and 2% Cinsault, Counoise, Muscardin and Vaccarese aged half in barrique and half in vats.
Quantity is down nearly half in 2017 due to bad weather at flowering drastically reducing the yield of Grenache meaning higher percentages than usual for other varieties resulting in darker more intense wines. Also selection of the juices is more rigorous than ever at Mont-Redon in recent vintages taking the quality higher each vintage.
’Deep glistening magenta. A complex, expansive bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, potpourri and smoky minerals accented by an exotic Moroccan spice quality. Shows impressive depth as well as energy on the palate, offering sappy black raspberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors; an undercurrent of juicy acidity adds lift and back-end cut. Finishes sweet, gently tannic and very long, leaving behind mineral, garrigue and cherry liqueur notes.’ (94-95) points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous, December 2019.
Château Mont-Redon will be familiar to those who know and love Châteauneuf-du-Pape being well recognized as the owners of one of the most highly regarded vineyard sites in the appellation. The superb quality of its vineyards has been recognized throughout history and prior to the adaptation of the appellation controlee system it was one of the few ‘Grand Crus’ in the region (together with Chateau Rayas).
With almost 100 hectares under vine, the majority of Mont-Redon’s vineyards are located in the appellation’s most favoured area, the high plateau which is covered in the large round pudding stones that Châteauneuf is so well known for. At this high point the huge pudding ston galets lie over a rich layer of clay which retains water and keeps the earth below cool as it helps the vines resist the torrid heat of each summer. In the 1960’s some limestone terroir on the western edge of the appellation was planted to white varieties which are perfectly suited to limestone and give whites of great freshness and purity. This remarkable property is in fact a single vineyard which is very unusual in Châteauneuf-du-Pape where holdings are usually quite scattered.
There has been considerable investment at Mont-Redon over the past twenty years. The entire winery has been completely renewed and is now naturally climate controlled utilising the water which lies deep below the clay plateau. From this water, cool air spills down into the winery cooling every level so that the whole winery retains a very cool temperature with natural humidity. Rows of oak barriques have replaced the old large foudres of yesteryear, and large temperature controlled stainless steel vats now line the walls, resulting in wines of freshness and finesse in both red and white wines. More recently optical sorting machines at harvest time have helped to remove any unripe or shriveled grapes as well as any vegetation resulting in great precision for every single wine.
In recent years the developments have continued at a great pace with Pierre Fabre being installed as wine-maker from 2008 and in 2017 Pierre took over management of the estate from his father and uncle. In 2017 he produced the first Gigondas from purchased fruit and in 2019 the purchase of more vineyards have been made in the southern Rhône. This remarkable estate will continue to develop apace as the potential of its great terroir is realised under the guardianship of Pierre Fabre.
Mont-Redon is clearly a candidate for not only the most improved producer and the best value producer of the Southern Rhône but now also one the very best producers in the large historic appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Mont-Redon looks destined to become one of the highest achievers of the Rhône Valley in the coming decade. Recent reviews confirm this trend.