2010 Domaine de la Charbonnière "Cuvée Vieilles Vignes" Châteaunuef-du-Pape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A brilliant effort, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is velvety textured and full-bodied, offering hints of sandy, loamy soils, licorice, kirsch and crushed rocks (minerality soars from the glass). Stunningly rich, layered and provocative, it is a classic wine of Provence. This big, mouthfilling, chewy 2010 should drink well for 15-20+ years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Saturated ruby. Black and blue fruits on the highly perfumed, spice- and smoke-accented nose. Weighty, palate-coating dark berry compote flavors show impressive depth and energy, picking up anise and lavender nuances with air. Supple tannins give shape to a very long, spicy and sharply focused finish.
"One of my favorite estates in the southern Rhone, Domaine de la Charbonniere is run with great passion and enthusiasm by Michel Maret, and more recently, by his two daughters," writes Robert Parker. "The Marets own nearly 44 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape, and one of their most under-valued and under-rated wines is their sensational Vacqueyras. They consistently produce four cuvees of Chateauneuf du Pape that are traditionally made, even though a handful of the wines spend time in small oak casks (although new oak is generally shunned at this estate). Other than one large parcel in the northwest sector of the appellation, Maretís biggest holdings are all in the eastern area of Chateauneuf du Pape...As I reported last year, the 2010s are superb, and consumers canít go wrong with any of these wines, which range from outstanding to prodigious in the case of the Hautes Brusquieres and the Cuvee Vieilles Vignes." (10/2012) 15.5% abv.