Domaine Bois de Boursan, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Domaine Bois de Boursan, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Domaine Bois de Boursan, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Southern Rhône, France 2019 (750mL)
Regular price$55.00
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Domaine Bois de Boursan, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

In Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it doesn’t get more “benchmark” than Bois de Boursan. There are more-famous labels, of course, but when it comes to capturing the very soul of this region, no one does it better. What does the “soul” of Châteauneuf taste like, you ask? 

Think saturated red and black fruit, dusty earth, wild herbs, and warm spices—a succulent, drippingly ripe evocation of the Mediterranean sun. If words aren’t enough (they’re probably not), the best move is to simply pull a cork and see for yourself. What I can say unequivocally is that this bottling is as timelessly stylish as wine gets, a vinous answer to Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” or Led Zeppelin’s debut album. If you consider yourself a “serious” wine aficionado, it’s a wine you must taste. I can’t put it any more clearly than that.

BONUS: For the true Châteauneuf fanatics out there, we have access to a tiny amount of Boursan’s extremely rare, truly incomparable “Cuvée des Felix” from the 2017 vintage. To secure a few bottles of this old-vine masterpiece, head over here!

My visit to Bois de Boursan a few years ago ranks among the most memorable of my life. Their cellars are especially rustic and dark, filled with ancient oak barrels and cement fermenters which were packed so tightly from floor to ceiling that one could barely squeeze between them. There was virtually no light, no buzzing machinery, and really no trappings of modern wine production, whatsoever. Jean-Paul Versino’s cave is right in the town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape proper, and the wines are made in an overtly pure and traditional style, layered with pristine fruit, herbs, and notes of olive and meat. Aside from Château Rayas (which I can’t afford), I consider this to be the quintessential Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Bois de Boursan was founded in 1955 by Jean Versino and continues to be operated today by his son, Jean-Paul. It’s a modest, 10-hectare property, with all the vineyards located inside the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The estate only bottles three wines; no Côtes du Rhône and no “second labels.” Vine age spans from 55 to 95 years, and all farming is performed organically without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The property is carved up into 37 small sub-parcels, and while most modern producers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape work almost exclusively with Grenache, Jean-Paul works with all 13 permitted varieties for the appellation. This creates a complex mosaic of aroma and texture that is rarely found in the region. Similarly, vinification for this wine is über-traditional: grapes are left almost entirely in whole clusters, with the maceration on skins extending for at least three weeks. This is followed by 24 months in giant, neutral oak foudres. The result is what I believe to be one of the best and most consistent Châteauneuf-du-Papes money can buy. 

After a brief 30-minute rest in the decanter, this 2019 unleashes a torrent of Burgundian aromas to accompany its power and physicality. It’s a luxurious rush of wild berries, brandied cherries, anise, black currants, and wildflower blossoms—and, of course, the scorched sage/thyme/lavender notes, exotic mushrooms, and palpable meatiness that makes Bois de Boursan a classic. Decant it a good hour before serving at 60 degrees in large Burgundy stems. With a wine this good, there is no “optimal drinking window”—it is simply outstanding today, and I’m sure it will only grow more profound and impressive with each of the next 10 years. It may go without saying given all the Bois de Boursan wines we’ve offered, but this is a “gastronomic” wine extraordinaire. Enjoy!

Domaine Bois de Boursan, Châteauneuf-du-Pape




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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