2010 Olivier Hillaire "Les Petits Pieds d'Armand" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A real blockbuster as well as a massive example of old vine Grenache is the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Petits Pieds d’Armand. Only 260 cases were produced in 2010 as the Grenache yields were unusually small in this vintage. However, that has added an extra level of concentration. This wine ratchets up the power, concentration, glycerin, opulence and density, revealing a deep purple color in addition to extraordinarily pure black raspberry, black cherry and cassis flavors intermixed with licorice, spring flowers and incense. The alcohol must be in excess of 16%. This unctuously textured, gorgeously concentrated wine is a monument to old vine Grenache grown in the southern Rhone. It should drink well for 15-20 years.
A very fruit-driven style, with a lovely mélange of blueberry, fig, blackberry and boysenberry notes all melded together and framed by light toasty vanilla, anise and alderwood notes. There's a lovely racy feel through the finish, though this keeps the fruit focused rather than overly exuberant. Shows good vivacity. Best from 2014 through 2028.
"This tiny estate, which used to be part of the Domaine des Relagnes," writes Robert Parker, "produces two cuvees of Chateauneuf du Pape, the traditional cuvee from terroirs near Clos St.-Jean and Grand Pierre, and a 100% old vine Grenache offering called Les Petits Pieds d'Armand from ancient vines (nearly 110 years of age) planted in sandy soil. Besides making first-class wines, Olivier Hillaire is also the village’s top baker." (10/2012) 15% abv.