Sunday, April 20, 2008

CHATEAUNEUF DE PAPE – Lunch at Chat. Des Fines Roches

I arrived in Chateauneuf de Pape via Avignon and found it as enchanting as I did the other 2 times I have visited. Since I have been here before and visited wineries both in and outside the town, as well as Gigondas and Beaumes des Venise, I decided to just visit one special winery this time – Chat. La Nerthe. I arrived early to make sure I knew where it was, and then found a restaurant right next to it at Chateau Des Fines Roches.

This chateau looks just like an ancient castle (see photo), and I actually visited the winery there in 2000 with my mother and Zia. I remembered the estate because it has a very nice hotel and restaurant. Hoping I could get in without a reservation, I stopped and found they had one table left. I order the prix fixe menu at $25 Euros and found it to be an excellent value.

For the price, I received an appetizer of local olives, tapenades, crackers, and chips. The salad course was fresh dorado fish with grilled fennel; the main course was grilled duck with mushrooms and risotto, and it was followed by coffee with a small plate of dessert cookies and brownies. The lunch also came with my choice of red, white, or rose Cote de Rhone. I chose rose, hoping it would be lower alcohol than Tavel – but it wasn’t. Still quite good, but I couldn’t finish it. A very lovely and elegant lunch at a beautiful place.

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