A recent inquiry by a customer into the upcoming releases from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, led me to put together this pre-arrival offer for some of the big names from this famous region in the South of France.
If you haven’t heard, 2010 is a fantastic vintage in the Southern Rhône Valley. I’ll be candid in telling you that this region often has great vintages. What makes 2010 different is a combination of three unique characteristics.
Acidity – The warmth of the Southern Rhône Valley often leads to wines lack in acidity, leaving wines flabby and tiring to drink. The natural acidity of the 2010 vintage is unique and gives the majority of wines, excellent freshness.
Ripeness – Ok, there is very rarely a problem with this, but in the case of 2010, the wines don’t have that “sur maturité” quality. This is characterized by an over-ripe character, that doesn’t really bother many tasters with young wines, but leads to unbalanced wines after aging in one’s cellar.
Yields – 2010 is a great vintage, but it is not a big vintage by any means. Yields were down at most estates, leading to extremely concentrated wines. Southern Rhône reds usually do possess a great deal of concentration, but look to 2010 for a little extra “oomph.”
The sum of these parts makes the 2010 vintage very special, especially for one of the world’s most revered appellations – Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
I’ve highlighted some of the most famous estates, and some of my favorites. I’ve included reviews from Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. Since those descriptions below are simply reviews, feel free to ask me any questions about the estates featured. There is lots of information on the web via the producers sites.
All orders will be taken as requests, as many of these are highly allocated and are in limited quantities. I will do my best to fill all requests.
Keep in mind there is great world wide demand for this vintage, and the vintage produced less wine. It is important to purchase ahead of time for the best pricing and to ensure that you can source the top wines!
Please let me know if you have any questions. The majority of these wines will arrive in the Fall, and payment is not due till the arrival of the wines.
2010 Clos St.-Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Vieilles Vignes”
“The 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, which is only available in the United States, is fashioned from Grenache vines planted in 1905, and is aged in both tank and small barrels. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple hue along with notes of licorice, kirsch liqueur, earth, truffles, forest floor, underbrush, raspberry, licorice and graphite. Full-bodied, powerful and rich, it should age effortlessly for 15-20 years. 93-96 Points, Robert Parker.”
$51.99 BTL. / $623.88 CASE – ONLY 2 CASES AVAILABLE
2010 Clos St.-Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Sanctus Sanctorum”
I believe one of the greatest wines being made in the world is the Maurels’ 100% Grenache, 600-liter demi-muid-aged cuvée produced from 100+ year old vines, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Sanctus Sanctorum. The elegant 2010 hit 16.7% natural alcohol yet it is not the least bit hot, making a mockery of those who pre-judge a wine on numbers alone. Both the 2010 and 2009 are 30+ year wines and those lucky enough to taste them will agree the Sanctus Sanctorum is one of the most compelling wines made in the world. The 2009 seems slightly more evolved than the 2010, but both are monumental efforts that no doubt will be the wines of the vintage. 98-100 Points, Robert Parker.”
$500 PER MAGNUM / ONLY 1 AVAILABLE
2010 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape
“The 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (74% Grenache, 14% Mourvèdre, 9% Syrah and 3% Cinsault aged two-thirds in cement tanks and one-third in wood foudres) has a dense ruby/purple color, a sweet nose of floral-infused blueberry liqueur, a striking minerality, impressive concentration, and a solid, dense core of fruit and glycerin. This is a classic and potentially long-lived Marcoux that should drink well for 15 or more years. 91-93 Points, Robert Parker.”
$66.99 BTL. / $803.88 CASE
2010 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Vieilles Vignes”
“The 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, which comes from 90- to 100+-year-old vines and is a blend of 98% Grenache and 2% other varieties (primarily Cinsault) aged in cement, was cropped from 12 hectoliters per hectare, compared to the 2009’s 15 hectoliters per hectare. That is essentially nothing short of financial suicide. This wine, which reminds the Armenier sisters somewhat of the 2001 vintage in its style, is very concentrated and has a dense purple color as well as a beautifully sweet nose of licorice, pepper, garrigue, blueberry, black raspberry and blackberry fruit. This is distinctive, compelling Châteauneuf-du-Pape that comes from their oldest vines, located in three of the best lieux-dits in Châteauneuf-du-Pape – La Crau in the eastern sector, Gallimardes in the south and Esquirons in the middle. This wine has wonderfully silky tannin, but it is definitely noticeable, and I suspect 3-5 years of cellaring is warranted. It should drink well for 20-25 years at the minimum. 93-95 Points.”
$168.99 BTL. / ONLY SIX BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2010 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape
“The 2010 looks to be extraordinary. A slightly fresher and more elegant version of the 2007, I think it may well be the greatest Clos des Papes since the 1990 and 1978. The 2010 has a dense ruby/purple color, a beautifully precise and pure nose of deep black raspberry, black cherry, boysenberry and blueberry notes with some licorice, garrigue, and bouquet garni. Additionally, there is a meaty richness that probably comes from the Mourvèdre and Syrah. It is an extraordinarily intense, fresh, lively wine with great finesse and elegance, which is somewhat unusual given the richness of fruit and the power of this wine. The color is a dense ruby/purple, perhaps slightly less opaque than the 2007, but very dark. This wine should evolve for 30+ years. 96-98 Points, Robert Parker.”
$126.99 BTL. / $1523.88 CASE – VERY LIMITED
$259.99 PER MAGNUM $1559.94 SIX-PACK CASE
2010 Domaine de la Charbonniere Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Vieilles Vignes”
“The 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is superb, with layers and layers of fruit, oodles of glycerin and a full-bodied mouthfeel. The tell-tale licorice, balsam wood, and intense cherry liqueur, roasted herbs and a crushed rock sort of minerality are present in the spectrum of flavors and aromas that this wine presents. Full-bodied and deep, this is a stunner that should drink well for 15 or more years. 93-95 Points.”
$58.99 BTL. / $707.88 CASE
$128.99 PER MAGNUM / $773.94 SIX-PACK CASE
2010 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape
“A brilliant effort that ranks alongside the 2007, the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape boasts abundant notes of black cherry liqueur interwoven with black currant, blueberry, spring flower, roasted herb, licorice, pepper and bouquet garni characteristics. Full-bodied with good acidity, terrific purity, a fleshy mouthfeel and a long finish, it should be even better in 4-5 years and last for two decades or more. 93-95 Points.”
$65.99 BTL. / $791.88 CASE
$145.99 PER MAGNUM / $875.94
2010 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape
“The 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, silky tannins, good acidity, impressive precision as well as aromatic uplift. Similar to, but less evolved than the 2009, with deeper, more concentrated fruit, it should drink well for 10-15 years. 90-92 Points, Robert Parker.”
$34.99 BTL. / $419.88 CASE
2010 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvée du Papet”
“The sensational 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée du Papet may turn out to be one of the finest examples of this cuvée since it debuted in 1989. A dark purple color is accompanied by classic aromas of raspberries, black currants and cherries. The wine is full-bodied as well as precise and elegant with wonderful freshness and delineation, superb concentration and a stunning 50-second finish. This potentially legendary Châteauneuf-du-Pape will need 2-3 years of cellaring, and drink well for 20-25+ years. 94-96+ Points, Robert Parker.”
$64.99 BTL. / $779.88 CASE
2010 Domaine Tour Saint Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Feminessance”
“The 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Feminessance is extraordinary. Opaque ruby/purple, with a beautiful nose of lavender and blackberry liqueur as well as hints of white chocolate, espresso roast, raspberries and kirsch, its multi-layered mouthfeel, stunning purity and long finish suggest a wine that has 15 or more years in it. 92-95 Points, Robert Parker.”
$67.99 BTL. / $815.88 CASE
2010 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Tradition”
“The 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition, which is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and the rest Mourvèdre and Cinsault, has a lower percentage of Grenache because at least a third of their Grenache production was wiped out due to the poor flowering in this vintage, a common characteristic of all Grenache vineyards in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. That also helps explain the extra level of concentration in the wines. Yields of the 2010 Tradition were only 23 hectoliters per hectare, which is almost financial suicide, but that’s Mother Nature. This is a dense wine exhibiting loads of black raspberry, blueberry, and blacker fruits than the 2009, with admirable purity, good acidity, and sweet tannin in a full-bodied, endearing style. This wine should drink well for 10-15 years. 90-93 Points, Robert Parker.”
$47.99 BTL. / $575.88 CASE
2010 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvée de Mon Aïeul”
“In total contrast, the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Mon Aieul has intense blueberry, black raspberry and lavender notes that jump from the glass of this opaque purple-colored wine. It is 100% Grenache in 2010, all coming from three of their finest vineyards – Les Grandes Serres in the southern part of the appellation, planted in 1926, La Crau, which of course is the famous sector in the eastern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and an early maturing one, and Guigasse, which is in the northerly sector, next to the sandy soils of the lieu-dit known as Pignan, as well as Grand Pierre. This wine tips the scales at about 16.5% alcohol, finishes completely dry and has no heat. The yields were a preposterous 16 hectoliters per hectare. I wouldn’t be surprised if this impressive wine jumps a few points in score, as it is still primary, backward and super-concentrated. It will need 3-5 years of cellaring and then drink well for at least two decades. 94-96 Points, Robert Parker.”
$109.99 BTL. / $1319.88 CASE
$229.99 PER MAGNUM / $1379.94 SIX-PACK CASE
2010 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Réserve des Deux Frères”
The 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Deux Frères is a completely different animal because of the major loss of Grenache crop due to poor flowering. This blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah makes it an unusual Des Deux Frères, since this wine has usually been close to 100% Grenache. The high percentage of Syrah gives the wine a very black/purple color, more blackberry, cassis and acacia flowers, with some smoked meat and Peking duck notes. Rich, full-bodied, thick, and unctuously textured, it is a more modern-styled Châteauneuf-du-Pape, especially with so much Syrah in the final blend. Nevertheless, it is a brilliant wine that should drink well for 20-25 years given the freshness and good acids these 2010s possess. 95-98 Points, Robert Parker.”
$224.99 BTL. / $1349.94 SIX-PACK CASE – VERY LIMITED
2010 Domaine Olivier Hillaire Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Les Petits Pieds d’Armand”
“Once again an awesome expression of old vine Grenache (107 years old), the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Petits Pieds d’Armand boasts abundant notes of cassis, kirsch, black raspberries, plums, figs and roasted Provencal herbs. It possesses tremendous expansiveness, a thick, unctuous mouthfeel, good acidity and surprising precision for a wine of this mass and power. This killer effort from Olivier Hillaire should drink well when released and last for 15+ years. 94-96 Points, Robert Parker.”
$94.99 BTL. /$1139.88 CASE
2010 Domaine Lafond “Roc Epine” Châteauneuf-du-Pape
“A potentially great wine in the making, the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Roc-Epine (made from an identical blend) possesses awesome concentration as well as a gorgeous nose of roasted Provencal herbs, lavender, blueberries, blackberries and cassis. With good acidity, sweet, well-integrated tannins and super concentration, it will be drinkable in 2-3 years, and should evolve for 15+ years thereafter. 93-95 Points, Robert Parker.”
$45.99 BTL. / $551.88 CASE