Virtual Tasting Premier Host

Showdown Series: Châteauneuf-du-Pape Versus Its Top-Ranked Contenders

Sat, June 4, 2022 (5:30 PM - 7:30 PM)

Cost: $105

Roughly half of my professional colleagues who love and work on the wines of the Rhône Valley believe that Châteauneuf-du-Pape rightly towers over its neighbors, whereas roughly half think it is riding a centuries-long wave of fame even as other nearby appellations are pulling even in quality while selling for significantly lower prices. The contenders include Gigondas (which has been a serious contender for at least two decades) but also Vacqueyras, Lirac and Rasteau. Sometimes it is true that commercial success is merited because the old-timers knew the best places to plant, but often it is true that fame succeeds more on momentum than merit. Both of these possibilities have plausibility and—among southern Rhône fans—hardcore partisans, so this standoff seems perfectly suited to a blind-tasting fight. In this tasting class, we’ll consider six flights that include a wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape versus a worthy contender, including both current releases and at least a couple of aged magnums to add developmental potential to the factors we’ll consider. I’m sorry that the ticket price needs to be a little higher than usual for this class, but as you know, quality Châteauneuf wines command high prices, and there’s no way to know whether they are deserved without choosing fine examples. If they win, you’ll be tasting excellent specimens of the breed, and if they lose, you’ll learn about terrific alternatives for future enjoyment—for a lot less cash.

Wine samples available for pickup by appointment on Friday, June 3 between 12pm – 5pm.

Additional Information

*If this event is sold out please email to be added to the waitlist. Due to the popularity of Michael’s classes we will be unable to accept requests for cancellation/rescheduling within 5 days of the class date. Outside of the 5 day period, our normal cancellation/rescheduling policy applies.

*If you are registering for more than one person, please be sure to include the other participants’ email address(es) when registering if they will be viewing the class from a different location/device.

*Please make a note of the wine sample pickup date mentioned above, as it will not appear on your registration confirmation.

*We cannot accommodate requests for wine sample pickups in advance of the date/times mentioned above. 

Zoom invitations will be emailed the day of class. 

More information:


  • tasting
  • online
  • class
  • virtual
  • zoom
  • france
  • wine
  • chateauneuf du pape
  • cdp
  • educational

Hosted by
Capital Wine School

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