Domaine de Beaurenard brings balance to a French powerhouse.

There are few appellations that have the brand power of the French powerhouse that is Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The irony is that other than the fact that the grapes have to come from certain designated areas in the Southern Rhône, producers have largely free rein on how they create the wine. Most use a majority of grenache but will often add syrah, mourvèdre, cinsault and up to 14 other varieties to the final mix. For a while in the ’90s and early ’00s, CDP’s main selling point—its power—threatened to be its downfall as producers, goaded by high scores from wine critics, began to craft enormous boozy wines that were all brawn and no finesse. Thankfully, some producers have eased up on the throttle—typified by this offering from the historic Domaine de Beaurenard. It’s got plenty of power, but the ample (organic and biodynamic) fruit is tempered by a stream of acidity andpeppery bite that brings balance to the beast.

Domaine de Beaurenard Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2013, $63


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