Featured Wine

Charbonniere Chateauneuf

 

charbonniereDomaine de la charbonnière châteauneuf-du-pape cuvée vieilles vignes - organic

Domaine de la Charbonnière has been the singular passion of the Maret family since their purchase of this iconic property in 1912.  The young and charismatic Veronique Maret is responsible for the recent meteoric rise of Charbonnière – Veronique is handling all winemaking and somehow also finding the time to run the Domaine’s sales activities.  One of the most important changes Veronique made since taking over in 2012 was the move to organic viticulture.  

Domaine de la Charbonnière’s holdings spread over 68 acres in some of the region’s most sought after lieu dits – 49 of these in Châteauneuf du Pape, 15 in Vacqueyras, 4 in Côtes du Rhône.  Winemaking is traditional with a profound respect for grapes and terroir.  Reds are fermented in conical wood vats, and aged in a mix of demi-muids and barrels.  While the majority of our Charbonniere references are red, Insiders have long sought out the property’s white wine offerings, which we make available to you with wide grins on our faces.  These are all tactile wines that combine elegance and serious depth at once.

The property sits on the La Crau plateau, the high-rent district of the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation, and it’s the very old vine Grenache grown there - a good portion of which is fermented as whole clusters - that creates the plush, silky mouthfeel and intoxicating aromatics of this 2019. But Charbonniere has long been known for its astute use of Mourvedre in its blends, and the 10% addition of that grape adds a dark, peppery aspect to the wine, as well as depth and personality.

The wines of Domaine Charbonnière are among the best values to be found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  Old vines offer restricted yields and vigor while concentrating energy on the grapes. This is evident here as the wine showcases intense red and black fruits, underbrush, roasted aromas and spice. The mouth offers a great density with a very long finish.

97 points,  Jeb Dunnuck:  The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes (90% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre) comes all from the stony, pebbly soils of La Crau and was brought up in tank and demi-muids. Ripe black cherry fruits, iodine, ground pepper, and bloody, meaty nuances all emerge on the nose, and it's full-bodied, with a seamless, multi-dimensional texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a rock star of a finish. It's just a brilliant, elegant, pure, lengthy wine that does everything right. Drink this classic, traditional, structured wine over the coming two decades. While I’ve always loved the wines of Domaine de la Charbonnière, recent vintages are on another level, and I’d unquestionably put the domaine up with the crème de la crème of the appellation today. Run by the Maret family, with consulting advice from Philippe Cambie, Domaine de La Charbonnière produces four cuvées: the Tradition, Mourre des Perdrix, Vieilles Vignes, and the Les Hautes Brusquières. The Vieilles Vignes comes from the oldest vines of the estate and the pebbly soils of the La Crau lieu-dit. Based on 95% Grenache or more, with the balance Mourvèdre, it’s always the most structured, tannic, and masculine of the three special cuvées.
 
95 points, James Suckling:  Although this is still a bit closed, the pomegranate and sour-cherry aromas are delightful and the hints of coffee, tobacco leaf and cigar box add complexity. Rich and concentrated, but very focused. Huge tannin structure, but beautifully crafted and the wine glides over your palate. Long, youthful finish. From the La Crau site, this is a blend of grenache from 70-year-old vines and mourvedre. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.
 
93 points,  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate The yin to the yang of the estate's Mourre des Perdrix bottling, the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes is almost all Grenache (10% Mourvèdre) from stony, galets roulés sites in Coudoulet, la Crau (sud) and Cristia. It's all black cherries and mocha on the nose, then full-bodied and rich but rather coarse and open-knit on the palate. It's long on the finish and shows remarkable intensity, but it doesn't have the same degree of elegance as the other offerings from Charbonniere; perhaps that will emerge with further cellaring. A second sample (tasted nonblind) revealed more of that elegance, with an almost airy, ethereal feel on the palate that belied the wine's enormous concentration and power. 93+
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