2010 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape flirts with perfection. A classic blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah, Vaccarese and Counoise, all aged in large foudres in Clos des Papes’s air-conditioned and humidity-controlled wine cellar, the wine boasts a dense purple color along with lots of gorgeously pure black raspberry, black currant and kirsch liqueur notes intermixed with notions of spring flowers, tapenade, licorice and spice box. This dense, full-bodied, powerful Chateauneuf is also remarkably fresh and well-delineated. It even exceeded the 2007 in natural alcohol, coming in at 15.9%. With an extraordinary texture and considerable tannin in the finish, it will benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age, and is built for 25-30 years of cellaring. Don’t miss it! This admirably run estate has essentially been practicing biodynamic farming for nearly 15 years, but they were not certified as biodynamic until 2011.
*#4 Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2012* Lots of cocoa powder and coffee frame a massive block of dark plum, black currant and fig fruit, while massively endowed tannins stride from start to finish. Cassis, anise and Lapsang souchong tea notes hang in the background for now, but should emerge more with extended cellaring. The very dark, almost brooding finish is dominated by charcoal-coated grip, but the purity still wins out in the end. A very, very large wine. Best from 2017 through 2035.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Inky ruby. Potent, intensely perfumed aromas on raspberry liqueur, cherry-cola, anise and smoky garrigue. Spicy and incisive, offering palate-staining red and dark berry flavors that become richer with air. Shows a superb balance of richness and vivacity, with dusty tannins giving grip to a long, spice- and floral-dominated finish. One of the top wines from the entire Rhone from this outstanding vintage.
Very dark purple. Very dense and silky (the 2009 is now closed and this one will surely close up more as it’s already on the way to doing so). Lots of black fruits on the nose (c’est très kirsché, says Avril approvingly) and a hint of animal and masses of matter. Lots of tannin and a bit of alcohol on the end. Needs lots of time. Very deep and long. 19/20 points.