In a nutshell: A savoury and silky expression of Châteauneuf du Pape, the southern Rhônes's best known wine.
The lowdown: Christophe Mestre is the fourth generation running this traditional Chateauneuf-du-Pape domaine which is situated in the town itself. It's a classic southern Rhône blend of 60% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault, with the rest being made up of some of the other 13 permitted varieties for the appellation. Aged in large oak foudres for 18 months it has the good firm structure and the power you'd expected of a wine from here. There's a nose of blackberries, cassis and a touch of liquorice while on the palate the red fruits from the Grenache balance with spice, cedar and pepper. Full bodied, soft but with a spicy kick, and a good lengthy finish.
When to drink: A benchmark Châteauneuf, it's ideal with things like full flavoured beef, vension and lamb recipes.
The Mestre family have been involved in Châteauneuf du Pape for four generations. Currently Christophe Mestre heads up the estate in succession to his father Jacques and has 17 hectares of vines from which he produces his wines. These are made up of small parcels each with different soils and enabling hom to make wines which fully express the Châteauneuf terroir to a tee.