Domaine Roger Perrin is one of the stars of Chateauneuf du Pape, producing some of the best wines in the AOC. Vineyards have existed on the Perrin property since the 1900s and the vines lie on the long ridge that stretches from Chateauneuf du Pape down to Orange. Luc Perrin took over the Domaine in 1986 as a teenager after the sudden death of his father and it is he who is credited with the Domaine’s stellar performance. Luc’s studies in oenology and apprenticeship at the great Chateau Beaucastel stood him in good stead but it was his natural gift for wine making that surprised everyone. Sadly Luc died far too early in 2010 but during his tenure at the property he placed Domaine Roger Perrin firmly on the map. His legacy is now being carried on by his oldest sister Veronique.
The Domaine lies on the ‘galet’ stones (round pebbles) that Chateauneuf du Pape is famous for. Soils here were formed from ancient riverbeds that dried up under the Mediterranean sun and hot winds of the Mistral long ago. Chateauneuf du Pape is drenched in history; in the 14th century the village became the summer residence for Pope Clement V (who also owned Chateau Pape Clement in Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux). Clement’s successor was Pope John XXII, who enjoyed Burgundy wines. He saw the potential in the local wines produced around his residence and did much to improve viticultural practices there. The wines came to be known as ‘Vins du Pape’ (the Pope’s Wines). In 1333 he built the castle which stands as a symbol for the appellation.
Quintessential Chateauneuf du Pape wines have the aromas of the dried herbs of the garrigue and an underlying savoury note of game, leather or black olives. They often require long cellaring before being approachable and the 2000 vintage is drinking very well now. A good year and a good wine maker are an unbeatable combination; Chateauneuf du Pape Domaine Roger Perrin 2000 is a gorgeous wine. Perfect with Christmas turkey and chestnut stuffing, it also pairs well with pheasant, guinea fowl, grouse, duck, pigeon, beef, rich braised dishes and cheese.