Domaine André Mathieu, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
Domaine André Mathieu, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

Domaine André Mathieu, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

Southern Rhône, France 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$59.00

Domaine André Mathieu, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

The Christmas joy continues! With Domaine André Mathieu’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, we’ve got a special treat indeed. It’s not just that white Châteauneuf is a coveted rarity (it accounts for less than 5% of the region’s production) it’s also the mineral rigor, the pure, stony freshness, that the Mathieu family’s bottling brings to the table. We admittedly don’t drink a ton of southern Rhône whites, because so many are overly soft and alcoholic, but the rare standout like this one seem like white wines that have it all. With textural depth and heady aromatics married to zippy, terroir-transparent refreshment, there’s not many situations where this wine isn’t the ideal bottle. It’s an unexpected Châteauneuf stunner right now, and like its red counterpart, is ready to go for years in your cellar. Just to be sure to act quick, because it may be next Christmas before we can offer another CDP Blanc!

The Mathieu family can trace their history in Châteauneuf-du-Pape all the way back to the 1500s. As with so many winegrowing families, grapes were originally just one part of their farm, grown alongside cereals, olives, and fruit trees. Anselme Mathieu converted the property to a proper winemaking domaine in 1854, and the shift to a sole focus on viticulture began. It remained a true family affair, though; the wine was made in their home for more than a hundred years, with the Mathieus literally moving a fermentation vat into their kitchen each harvest season. In 1980, they finally built a modern winery, and since then they’ve been producing some of the most distinctive and transparent wines in the region. The domaine is now headed up by André and his children, Thibault and Coralie.

Those 500+ years of farming history have also granted the Mathieu family with vineyards that would be the envy of any Rhône winemaker. They farm all 13 varieties allowed in the AOC, with a vine age averaging over 50 years. Their 60 plots spread across the four main sectors  of Châteauneuf, all with different expositions, microclimates, harvest dates, etc. But the common denominator amongst them all is their signature galets roulés soils—huge pebbles that trap heat during the day and release it slowly throughout the night. Most importantly, their white grape holdings consist mainly of the rare Clairette variety, which accounts for less than 2% of the region’s plantings. Unlike the Grenache Blanc that forms the basis of most Châteauneuf Blanc—which, being a mutation from red Grenache, shares that variety’s soft structure—Clairette sings with brisk mineral tones and vibrant acidity. Most Clairette in the village actually goes into the red blends to provide some much-needed freshness, and what remains is rarely more than a small blending component in other domaines’ Châteauneuf Blanc.  

Clairette makes up 50% of the final blend in Domaine André Mathieu’s 2021 Blanc, with 40% Grenache Blanc providing body, rounded out by 5% each of Picpoul and Bourboulenc. They all get fermented separately in stainless steel to preserve freshness, with a small proportion aging in third-use oak. We suggest serving it as you would Premier Cru white Burgundy, just below cellar temp. It pours a lucid pale yellow with green and gold reflections. The nose is a riot of orchard and stone fruits—fresh-cut green apple, white peach pit, apricot, a hint of mango—alongside pulverized chalk, seaspray, and saline iodine tones, with raw almond and hay notes in the background. Texturally, it’s a marvel, offering both juicy stone fruit-laden breadth, and scintillating energy. No element here dominates; the sense is of a perfectly composed unity. With a few more years in bottle, there’s no doubt it’ll become a true showstopper, ready to rub shoulders with France’s most prized whites. Grab some for a special night now, plus enough to last the next decade in your cellar. We guarantee, one sip of Mathieu’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc and you’ll be convinced of the region’s greatness all over again!

Domaine André Mathieu, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

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