Domaine La Manarine, Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Pied de Baud”
Domaine La Manarine, Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Pied de Baud”

Domaine La Manarine, Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Pied de Baud”

Southern Rhône, France 2019 (750mL)
Regular price$49.00

Domaine La Manarine, Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Pied de Baud”

Let’s hear it for Grenache! It’s a relatively easy grape to grow in warm, sunny climates, and so you find examples all over the globe, from Spain to Australia to California. But of course its pinnacle is usually found among the smooth river stones, or galets roulés, of the Southern Rhône Valley, most especially in the famous appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The standard here is to blend it with up to 13 other varieties, but a few dedicated vignerons doggedly produce a 100% Grenache version, and at their pinnacle, they’re so silky, sappy, and energetic that the drinking pleasure they provide is mindblowing. Gilles Gasq is just such a master of Grenache, and for the money produces our hands-down favorite expression of this sexy grape. Of course, the easy comparison is to Rayas, but really there is no comparison when you consider price. 

Having honed his skills as former winemaker/vineyard manager at legendary Domaine Monpertuis, Gilles Gasq’s Châteauneufs were among the most consistently delicious and critically acclaimed of the 2000s. As perennial favorites of The Wine Advocate and Jancis Robinson, he was riding high—that is until Monpertuis’ owner sold the estate and Gasq was forced to stop making Châteauneuf altogether. But Gilles didn’t pack it in for a sunny, Southern French retirement home. Instead, he spent several years hunting down the most prime cut of CdP vines—a scant 1.5 hectares of half-century-old vines in “Pied de Baud,” among our favorite lieu-dits (named sites) in the region. The rest was history. With his organic farming and insane talent in the cellar, this momentous micro-bottling instantly became a new standard-setter for Châteauneuf. And today’s newly released 2019? It’s a towering testament to the greatness that only a very few Grenache wines can achieve. 

Although Gasq is one of the great cellar talents of the region, there’s so much more to this wine. First off, most CdP reds at this price point tend to be a mishmash of multiple vineyards, purchased fruit, and an ever-changing blend of varieties. Gasq’s, on the other hand, is 100% organically farmed, old-vine Grenache Noir from two of the finest (and adjacent) vineyard sites in the appellation. Covered in the region’s famous cailloux stones, “Cabrières” is one of the most celebrated vineyard parcels in the northern half of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation and makes up 25% of this wine. Not to be outdone, the “Pied de Baud” vineyard makes up the remaining 75%. Pied de Baud is a gorgeous, ancient site that forms the backbone of one of our all-time favorite Southern Rhône reds, Bois de Boursan’s $100-per-bottle “Cuvée des Felix.” This is pedigreed real estate and you can taste it in every delicious drop of today’s wine.

With 50% de-stemming, spontaneous fermentations, and 18 months of aging in a 20:80 mix of neutral oak demi-muids and epoxy-lined steel tanks, Manarine’s 2019 unfined/unfiltered “Pied de Baud” dominates both aromatically and texturally. Around 60 degrees, it storms out of a Burgundy stem with unbridled lushness in the form of red cherry liqueur, raspberry coulis, currant, sweet licorice, an assortment of blue and red flowers, anise, exotic spice, and hints of charred garrigue. The palate is lush, full-bodied, lifted, and exceedingly pure. Grenache, and Southern Rhône wines in general, can sometimes suffer from a bit of imbalance between fruit and structure, but never so with the wines of Gasq, everything is in perfect harmony. A wine like this is delicious with almost any grilled meat, but I especially love it with Texas style bbq beef ribs. That’s a hedonistic delight, and you deserve it, enjoy!

Domaine La Manarine, Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Pied de Baud”

Daily Discovery

Build a Case is a one-of-a-kind subscription service that allows you the freedom to explore our expansive wine selection and consolidate your orders into a custom case over time — without the cost of shipping.
View all