Les Grandes Serres La Cour des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010

Les Grandes Serres La Cour des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010: Mahogany color; meat, earth, yeast on quirky nose;

red berries, raspberry, plum, mint, black fruit, tobacco on the palate. Dusty tannin, good acidity, unusual earthiness for a Châteauneuf-du-Pape and lacks the deliciousness I expect. Very much benefits from air, which allows it to work out some of its contrarian proclivities. All that said, this is not terrible, undrinkable wine. It is full of surprising elements—meat, briar, earth—that are possible from grenache (the principal grape of CdP); the mourvèdre also contributes its wild game and earthy notes, along with its inky color. Grenache makes up 80-plus percent of this GSM blend, joined by roughly equal parts of syrah and mourvèdre. The low percentage of syrah may be what allows the rougher elements to have their way in this bottle, at least in the beginning. I can’t overstate how air helps enhance this offering. If you are a Châteauneuf-du-Pape paramour, as I am, this is worth a try to explore the possibilities of CdP, a play made easier because it has entry-level price (for a CdP). If you are just beginning to discover what wines you like, this should not be your first experience with CdP. Veterans can give it a whirl and experience surprises. $37 Santa Cristina Cipresseto Toscana