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Full Bodied
Bottle, 750 ml
Domaine Raymond Usseglio
Grenache / Garnacha
Serve At:
59°-64° F
France > Rhone > Chateauneuf du Pape

Domaine Usseglio Raymond & Fils
Cuevee Imperiale
Chateauneuf du Pape

Stéphane Usseglio, son of Raymond, has taken over the domaine in the last few years, and he with his oenologist Xavier Vignon, are pushing to reach the potential of the family's holdings, some of he best of Châteauneuf. Half his vines are situated near the road in the lieu-dit "La Crau" and the other half on the hill across the road from the actual ruins of the new castle of the Pope. He has the good fortune to have very old vines. The average age for his Châteauneuf vines is between 50 & 60 years old, and the cuvée Imperiale is 100-year old vines.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a medieval village on the side of a hill, guarded by the ruins of an ancient chateau towering above. From the chateau hill you have an outstanding view in all directions, mostly of vineyards, of course. Off to the east and south, the Rhone winds across the fields, and the afternoon sun turns it silver.

The fief of Saint-Empire until the 12th century, when it passed to the control of the bishop of Avignon, and then to Saint Siege. Pope Jean XXII of Avignon built the chateau here in 1320. The town remained the summer home of the Avignon Popes through the 14th century. The chateau was sacked by the Routiers when Jean XXII died, and destroyed by the Protestants of Montbrun in 1562 at the beginning of the Wars of Religion. The town was ravaged by two Calvinist assaults during the Wars of Religion. The chateau was destroyed for the final time by the retreating Germans in 1944.

A literal translation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, "the Pope's new house", is based in truth. The Popes of Avignon built a summertime chateau here to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Palais. Apart from the foundations, only two walls remain of the chateau, but they're the ones facing the village, still high and imposing, giving a good feeling of what it was like here centuries ago.

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