You know, I've really come to love the wines of southern France more and more over the last several months. Whether a nice blend of Grenache from the Longuedoc, or a classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the Rhône, these wines are just great expressions of the region. The 2007 Tiare Impériale Châteauneuf-du-Pape represents the classic aspects of this wine, which dates back to Pope Clement V, the former archbishop of Bordeaux who relocated the papacy to the French city of Avignon in 1308. As great lovers of wine, the popes of the 70-years of Avignon popes did a lot to promote the wines of Burgundy and the Rhône, and eventually this wine became known as "Vin du Pape" or wine of the pope, to today's Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The wine itself is a blend of 13 different grape varieties, dominated by the classic blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre (GSM anyone?). The wine was somewhat opaque with a beautify reddish purple color. The nose was somewhat earthy, with hints of tobacco and leather. The taste was somewhat fruited, with cherries and a bit of licorice. The tannins were quite mellow for such a young wine, leading to a somewhat soft finish. Overall, this wine really brought to mind the lovely warm Mediterranean breezes of the Côte d’Azur, and if you can get that feeling from a bottle of wine, it can't be all bad!
As for pairings, I think this wine would be lovely with a variety of seafood dishes, or even a bouillabaisse for those who are more adventurous! Overall, this wine was a fairly good value for a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, I think I bought it from Wines Till Sold Out for under $30. For my rating, I would put this one at a solid 8, it's a nice example of the wine, but there was definitely room for improvement. Salut!