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Pronounced Coon-wahz. A grape varietal that plays a small, although key role in the production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines in the Rhône region of France. Counoise is one of thirteen grape varietals allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The origin of the Counoise varietal is unknown, but one popular theory is that the varietal was introduced into Châteauneuf-du-Pape by a papal officer who offered it to Pope Urban V when the papacy was based in Avignon in the mid-14th century.
Characteristics: Deep purple-red, rich and spicy in character, moderate in alcohol and tannins, flavors of anise, strawberries, and blueberries. When blended with intense wines strong in alcohol and tannin, Counoise provides an element of finesse to the final product.
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