As has always been the case, Versino makes very little Cuvée des Felix—usually about 400 cases in total, a fraction of which make it to the US. Bois de Boursan grows all the 13 authorized Châteauneuf varieties in their multitude of vineyard parcels (27 plots across 10 hectares, all in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape proper), but this wine is driven by Grenache (65%) and Mourvèdre (25%), with Syrah (5%) and an assortment of other varieties comprising the balance. It is aged 18 months in used French oak barriques and is typically a touch more tannic and tightly wound compared to Bois de Boursan’s estate Châteauneuf bottling (which we offered back in January).
Nevertheless, like most Châteauneuf-du-Pape, today’s 2012 is delicious to drink now, thanks to Grenache’s generous fruit. It is downright explosive right out of the gate, with a dark, ruby-black hue in the glass and lots of black fruits on the nose and palate: crushed blackberry, cherry, and boysenberry are layered with black licorice, cacao nibs, wild herbs, lavender, warm spices and leather with faint accents of dried olive and meat stock. It is full-bodied on the palate, its richness checked by a lively jolt of freshness. Think big, but agile: It’s built to age 10-15 years and will show best following a 45-minute decant and a service temperature closer to 60 degrees. Use some big Burgundy stems and pair it with pulled pork cooked “low and slow” in the oven. This pairing is a ‘master class’ in concentrated flavors and a great way to enjoy one of wine’s most enduring classics. Enjoy!