Saint-Siffrein – Claude Chastan (Chateauneuf-du-Pape) ORGANIC

Chateauneuf-du-Pape is all about the stones. We dropped in on Saint-Siffrein again, who we had worked with some years ago. They are on the road from Chateauneuf to Orange. Claude Chastan’s son Cyril and daughter Patricia have taken over. Cyril is making the wine now. We got a bit nervous when he started talking about new barrels and modern techniques. We need not have worried: fudres retain pride of place and he still uses whole cluster fermentation, providing plenty of old-school bite and backbone.
They make Chateauneuf-du-Pape in red and white. The red, a blend of 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault, has become more supple. The vines average 50 years old. The white is charming; 35% Grenache Blanc, 30% Clairette, 15% Roussanne, 15% Bourboulenc and 5% Picpoul. They also bottle a serious Cotes-du-Rhone Villages, 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah from 30-40 year-old vines just the other side of the road from the Chateauneuf appellation.
Their top bottling of Chateauneuf-du-Pape is Terre d’Abel which includes 55% Mourvedre from 100 year-old vines planted by Cyril and Patricia’s Grandfather.
They have farmed organically for 30 years and were certified in 2009.