94pts Jeb Dunnuck
I loved the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape from this brilliant team, and it should be snatched up by readers looking for a classic, impeccably made Châteauneuf du Pape to drink over the coming decade or more. Ripe black cherries, blackberries, Provençal garrigue, pepper, and Southern France street market-like nuances all emerge on the nose, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a seamless, elegant texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. Don't miss it. The blend is 70% Grenache and 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre.
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 traditional cuvée comes from all the estate’s holdings and is typically a blend of 70% Grenache and 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre. It’s mostly destemmed and brought up in older barrels and stainless steel. It’s certain a terrific introduction into the style of the estate. The Mourre des Perdrix comes from more sandy soils just behind the estate and is the same blend as the classic cuvée. This cuvée is always the most seamless and elegant in the lineup. 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. Lastly, the Les Hautes Brusquières comes from the Brusquières plateau in the northern portion of the appellation and is a 60/40 split of Grenache and Syrah that’s destemmed and aged in a mix of foudre and barrels. This cuvée is generally the most opulent and full-bodied in the lineup (no doubt due to its large Syrah component), and while approachable in its youth, it’s capable of keeping for upward of two decades.
This wine is what any Chateauneuf lovers expect in a classic wine: dark color, racy, silky tannins and freshness (due to its good acidity). It showcases the purity of the fruit that comes straightforward to the nose. It is so appealing when a wine shows beautifully when you open it and you pour it in the glass. Though this wine is 80% destemmed, it has a very elegant and balanced style: it is a medium bodied wine with a silky texture and ripe tannins.