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1998 Charles Melton Nine Popes
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- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Charles Melton Winery.
The Nine Popes is a blend based on the three major southern Rhone varieties; Grenache, Shiraz & Mourvedre. Whilst the Nine Popes was initially modelled on Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it has evolved into an internationally recognised example of this style in its own right.Grenache perfume and Shiraz spice combine to produce a complex style that will take on lovely gamey and sweet spice characters with age. The intensity of flavours on the palate, which is the hallmark of Nine Popes, comes from the extraordinarily low yields of our Grenache -½ to 1½ tonnes per acre. With patience Nine Popes will evolve into a rich, smooth style of great longevity.
All three varieties are dry farmed with the majority component, Grenache (approx. 70%), beinggrown in the traditional "goblet" (or bush vine) manner. Harvest is by hand, into both 1 tonne binsand 30kg crates. Beaume level is ideally in the 14º-14.5º range (no higher!!)At the winery the bins are crushed and destemmed while the crates are tipped (stalks intact) into the fermenter. The percentage of whole bunch fruit can range up to 15% in some vintages. Montachet yeast is added and the fermentation proceeds until dryness with two pump-overs daily.The wine is drained, pressed and all pressings are blended with the free run. The wine is thentransferred to French and American barriques though in recent years a larger proportion of French(Vosge, Never, Troçais) has been used and this will increase to 100% by 2000. The wine is aged inoak on gross lees for approximately 15 months. No racking or battonage takes place.1998 is considered to be one of the great vintages of the last two decades. Sweet perfume aromas with some bacon/spice overtones. Softly intense fruit aromas that will build. Berry sweetness on the palate which is high in glycerol and rich balanced acid and soft tannins. 14.5% alcohol volume.