2009 Domaine Grand Veneur Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The most limited cuvee (350 cases) is the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah from 50-100 year old vines located in the northern sector of the appellation). Its opaque purple color is accompanied by a gorgeous perfume of graphite, truffles, damp earth, cassis, kirsch, licorice and spice box. Despite the fact that it sees a lot of new oak, it reveals no evidence of wood. The fruit dominates in this quintessential, classic, full-bodied, powerful, massive as well as surprisingly pure and elegant Chateauneuf du Pape. Unlike most examples, the precociousness and suppleness of the 2009 vintage have given this wine a more forward appeal, although it still needs 2-3 years of cellaring. Drink it over the following 25-30 years.
A prodigious effort, the 2009 Vieilles Vignes from Grand Veneur includes a whopping 40% Mourvèdre in the blend (there’s also 10% Syrah, with the balance being Grenache), which no doubt accounts for its dark flavor profile. This is a full-bodied, lushly textured, expansive wine, with a finish that seems to go on forever. Approachable now, it should age well for 10–12 years at least.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(50% grenache, 40% mourvedre and 10% syrah, from vines that reportedly are over 50 years of age, with some over a century old): Opaque purple. Black and blue fruits on the nose, with vanilla, anise and violet notes adding complexity. Lush, palate-staining blackberry and boysenberry flavors show excellent depth and are lifted by a bright, spicy quality. Echoes the anise and vanilla notes on the finish, which clings with impressive tenacity. I underestimated this wine last year.
Dense, but pure and fresh, offering a core of black currant, raspberry and plum fruit in reserve, with lots of sweet spice, melted licorice and graphite as well. There's a long, polished, violet-filled finish. Drink now through 2020. 200 cases made.