Why is it that Châteauneuf-du-Pape is so well known? Even non-drinkers can tell you it’s the name of a great wine. Its celebrity is built on centuries of impressive quality, but there are a number of other contributing factors: the papal seal of approval, a long history of exporting, and the fact that the name of the appellation tells its story.
The best wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape deserve this renown. But with an appellation spread over 3,200ha, inevitably there are some wines which simply aren’t that interesting, trading on a famous name rather than intrinsic quality.
Châteauneuf isn’t cheap: it’s almost impossible to buy a bottle for less than £20 today in UK retail. So if you’re on a budget, you need to step carefully. But it is still possible to find excellent wines under £40 per bottle – I even found a few under £30.