Andrew Guard

2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, Bois de Boursan

Bright violet. A complex, perfumed bouquet displays scents of dried red fruits, garrigue, smoked meat and cracked pepper. Sappy, penetrating redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors show a suave blend of depth and energy and pick up a bitter chocolate nuance with air. Old-school Chateauneuf in the best sense, finishing with very good clarity and lingering notes of smoke and flowers.

Jean-Paul Versino at Bois de Boursan is one of the few growers who stick resolutely to traditional methods and his wines stand out for their wonderfully classical and typical Châteauneuf aromas.  This is Châteauneuf as it used to be, as it always was, and not the modern, sweet and easy style that is now often produced in collaboration with the various consultant oenologues that plague contemporary French winemaking - so instead of mocha and coffee you will find lavender, garrigue, stones, ash and fresh, sappy fruit. Bois de Boursan wines are very aromatic, with tremendous texture and energy.

Versino uses whole bunch fermentation, wild yeasts, keeps extraction to a minimum, presses using an old basket press, élevages the wine for nearly two years in large old oak barrels and bottles unfiltered and unfined.