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For Cuvee Isabelle, the ADISSAT team (Serge Dore, along with Baptiste Olivier and Gerald Lafont, two of the Rhone Valleys top oenologists) used only the best grapes from the best areas of the appellation. They mandated a strict double-sorting (removing up to 30% of harvest), and carefully aged each variety individually. Finally, they were blended together to create a rich and concentrated final wine, representative of the full Chateauneuf-du-Pape terroir, from the elegance, freshness and minerality in the North to the structure and spice further South. The GRENACHE comes from 4 different terroirs of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. In the north, the sandy soils with underlying clay welcome the roots of ancient 80 year-old vines, contributing a harmonious elegance to the wine. Like Chateau Rayas, this wine has a floral quality, a finesse and freshness, with notes of bay leaf and thyme. Further south, the limestone soils and white pebbles give 50 year-old vines a wonderful minerality and richness. This is complemented by the structure and backbone of the La Crau vines (the most famous lieu-dit in Chateauneuf-du-Pape), where the famous galets roules conserve the suns heat and release it at night. Finally, the Southern gravelly soils, grainy and dry, with strong sun exposure, translate into a warm strength in the wine, with spices and notes of crushed strawberries. The SYRAH vines, 20 years of age, come from three top of the line Chateauneuf-du-Pape terroirs: sandy with northern exposure (contributing finesse and garrigue aromas); sandy with galets roules (western exposure), and galets roules (both of which give the wine a certain heated strength and austere notes of wild herbs) . Yields are very low, and the three are vinified together, resulting in a strong Syrah wine, with alcohol and backbone. The MOURVDRE vines, 70 years old reach for nutrients in the sandy soils in the northern area of the appellation. These porous soils, and the underlying layer of clay, result in a wine that is fresh, with excellent minerality and a delightful tension noted in the black fruits and hints of grilled toast and smoke. The 3 varieties are sorted twice (on the vine at harvest and again in the cellar), with some 30% of grapes removed, so that only the very best make it into the final wine. Aged separately, in vessels most fitted to each variety, they are then blended together, creating a wine of the highest quality. The fruit is lively and straightforward, the wine rich and concentrated and direct. From the very first sip there is no mistaking it: this is Chateauneuf-du-Pape at its best. [+]