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WINE NOTES: Châteauneuf-du-Pape
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alt I trust you all have enjoyed some beautiful Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Cos d'Estournel over the month of June. 
For July, as the summer months come into full swing and the temperature rises, I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite wine locales in the world, Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Situated in the region of Provence, known worldwide for its breathtaking landscapes, aromatic herbs, and illustrious residents that include the Avignon Popes and Vincent Van Gogh to name a few, the small city of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is found. 
First arriving in this small village in the spring of 2003 in an attempt to explore the diversity of the area, several friends accompanied me on this trip. Thirteen different varietals were found in this 32 square metre enclave deep in the South of France paired with a myriad of scents, tastes, and the regions distinctive long bouquets, as we went on an array of tastings.
Grenache is the most widely used varietal in the region, followed by Syrah, and Mourverdre with a jam-like, spicy, and structured note respectively. Three types of soil can be found there with the most popular being that of rounds rocks or pebbles that capture the heat during the day and release it at night, thus allowing the fruit to ripe; in addition, the Mistral (a strong, cold, and dry wind coming from the North/Northwest of France) intensifies the dry climate.
altThe results are, for the reds, a very earthy and gamy wine with hints of leather and a distinct spiciness that evolves as the wine ages. The white wines range from lean to oily, mineral to rich. Whilst the reds are meant to be kept in a cellar over time, two years at a minimum, the whites can be drunk young, although a seven year aging process will flourish very citric, exotic aromas.
For those looking to explore, these amazing wines can be tasted at Yan Ting paired with our Peking Duck, steamed Grouper, or seafood and tofu casserole. For a  French experience, head over to Riviera for some torchon foie gras or duck leg confit; and to those of you looking for a leisurely meal, try the mushroom tossed pasta at Promenade.

About Oscar Martinez:
Oscar Martinez is the Director of Food & Beverage of The St. Regis Tianjin and a wine Aficionado.  He is responsible for the entire operation of 3 restaurants, bars, banquet and in-room dining. Originally from Mexico, Oscar has experience in 3 continents in award-winning restaurants and hotels. He has spent the last 7 years in China at The St. Regis Beijing, The St. Regis Lhasa Resort and The St. Regis Shenzhen before coming to Tianjin. Oscar Martinez is a contributing columnist about wine notes & recommendations for Business Tianjin readers.
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