Complex, heady Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the southern Rhône’s (and one of the world’s) most famous, age-worthy reds – and Le Guide Hachette, France’s wine bible, has been a fan of this bewitching example. A previous vintage was awarded the prestigious Coup de Coeur, which best translates as “love at first taste” – and we think you’ll feel the same about the Mousset family’s 2012.
The foundation for La Font de Bessounes is the tiny Mas Grange Blanche, a three-hectare vineyard on the family’s gorgeous property (which also houses a boutique hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant). Tended by watchful, fifth-generation proprietor, Cyril Mousset, this tiny plot is planted with 40-year-old vines and strewn with Châteauneuf's trademark galet stones. The age of the vines and those heat-trapping stones are both key to the depth of flavor you'll discover in the wine.
This is a classic Châteauneuf blend of 70 percent Grenache, 20 percent Syrah and 10 percent Mourvèdre. Look for lots of heady, ripe cherry and strawberry on the nose, framed by notes of licorice and wild herbs. The palate is rich and round, with more cherry and red fruit and a long, powerful finish.
A true fine-dining wine, La Font de Bessounes enjoys top billing on the wine list at the château’s top-rated restaurant, where it’s paired with everything from roast rib of beef to dark chocolate desserts and mature, hard cheeses. It’s sure to impress your dinner guests, now and over the next decade.
Just 10,000 bottles produced – and most of that is snapped up by locals or served at the restaurant. Hurry for your share.