Cuvée: des Félix.
Grapes: Grenache 75%, Mourvèdre 20%, Syrah 5%.
About: both of Jean-Paul’s grandfathers were called Felix. He created this blend in 1995. In a blind tasting by collectors of 15 year-old 1998’s (a great year), published in the Wine Advocate in 2013 (but not tasted by Parker), the 1998 Felix was rated by far the best Châteauneuf-du-Pape against wines such as Pegau da Capo, Les Cailloux Centenaire, Marcoux Vieilles Vignes, Roger Sabon Secrets, Beaucastel, Janasse Vieilles Vignes, Chapoutier Barbe-Rac, Usseglio Mon Aieul (which was made by whole bunch at that time in its first vintage) and others. The comment was “ Everything is in balance, with excellent depth, complexity, mouth feel, and acidity. Simply sublime”. It’s from old vines, with a high proportion of Mourvèdre, and aged in small old oak barrels.
Location: From three parcels, in La Nerthe, Blaqueres, and Pied de Baud.
Size ha: 3.
Age: vines planted in 1900 and 1925, the Mourvèdre in 1950, Syrah in 1970.
Soils: sandy, and clay-limestone.
Farming: farmed organically, by hand as well as by machine.
Average yield hl/ha: 40.
Climate: Mediterranean with northerly Mistral wind.
The harvest is co-fermented in concrete tank, using natural yeasts, by whole bunch and by infusion rather than extraction for around six weeks. There’s minimal use of sulfites and no other entrants or manipulation. After pressing, which used to take place in an old basket press until a pneumatic press was bought in 2013, the wine is moved to age for 22 months in old barriques. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Vintage Notes 2015
Yield hl/ha: 28.
Date Harvested: Sept 10 to Oct 1.
Bottles produced: 5,000.
Date bottled: 2017-10.
Alcohol %: 15.03.
SO2 Total: 100.
Tasting: love this. Spicy black berry and cherry fruits, leather, roast meats, firm but silky tannins, great freshness. Classic version.
Vintage Notes 2016
Warm and sunny conditions resulted in a super ripe crop. The wines are exuberant, rich and powerful, but still elegant.
Date harvested: early to late Sept
Yield hl/ha: 35
Date bottled: 2018-10
Bottles produced: 5,000
Alcohol %: 15.96
SO2 Total: 68
Tasting: fabulous aromas of freshly roasted coffee beans, baked earth, new leather, savoury spices, and tons of cassis and strawberry fruit, powerful yet refreshing and balanced. Feels massive on the palate but develops endlessly.
Vintage Notes 2017
Very dry, warm and sunny conditions resulted in a ripe but very small crop. So the wines are perfumed but tannic.
Bottles produced: 2,000