Château Sixtine Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2016
Fun fact: the father of Jean Marc Diffonty, who heads up operations at Château Sixtine, was the mayor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for 30 years. That’s some serious dedication to the famous wine appellation, and the Diffonty’s phenomenal relationship with the land is on show in this ‘16 Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc.
So this wine is a blend of 95% rousanne and 5% clairette and you’re looking at quite a rich, textured wine with orchard fruit and honeysuckle flavours. It picked up 93 points from International Wine Report, who reported “an excellent rich texture with wonderful depth,” and called it “a fantastic effort from Jean Marc Diffonty which is already showing remarkably well.” And with a wine of this quality, there are plenty of years left for it to evolve even more.
“Super unique and super serious vino! It is a blend of 95% Rousanne and 5% Clairette (what the heck is that, right?). Doesn't matter, because this wine is stunning. Expect orange zest on the nose, with a rich, textural palette to follow, driven by minerality. Impress your wino friends with this one while imagining yourselves playing polo outside YOUR Chateau!”
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 95% Roussane, 5% Clairette
- Serving Temp.
My sister Nicci calls these "puddingstone wines", because the vines are literally grown on soils lightly covering giant boulders roughly translated as "pudding stones". Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a rich history, and the reds (usually grenache-predominant) can be a blend of up to 13 grape varieties, including some cheeky whites to round out the mix. The resultant wines are complex, brooding but usually not giant, and delicious. Especially if you call them puddingstone wines.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Seared scallops & vegetable fettuccine with saffron beurre blanc
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 2 green zucchini, ends trimmed
- 375g dried fettuccine pasta
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 12 (about 320g) scallops, without roe
- Saffron beurre blanc:
- 125ml (1/2 cup) white wine vinegar
- 2 purple eschalots, peeled, finely chopped
- 4 whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 180g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tbs fresh lime juice
- 2 tbs finely chopped fresh chives
- Salt & freshly ground white pepper
- Use a vegetable peeler to slice the carrots and zucchini lengthways into thin ribbons. Use a small sharp knife to cut the ribbons lengthways into thin strips. Place the carrot and zucchini ribbons in a bowl and set aside.
- To make the saffron beurre blanc, place the vinegar, eschalot, peppercorns and saffron in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tbs. Strain through a fine sieve into a small frying pan. Discard eschalot, peppercorns and saffron. Place the frying pan over low heat. Add the butter, 1 cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube only when the previous cube has been completely incorporated. Continue until all the butter has been incorporated. Remove from heat. Stir in the lime juice and chives. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet directions or until al dente. Drain. Place pasta in large bowl. Add the carrot, zucchini and half the saffron beurre blanc. Toss gently to combine.
- Heat the oil in a small non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the scallops and cook for 1 minute each side or until brown and opaque. Remove from heat.
- Place pasta in serving bowls and top with the scallops. Drizzle with remaining beurre blanc and serve immediately.