Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2019
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.
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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.
I love the nose of very ripe red and black fruit with hints of bitter chocolate and many spices. Rich, concentrated and complex, this is very impressive Chateauneuf with very sweet fruit, balanced by stacks of fine tannin. Long, powdery, dry finish with some real complexity. A blend of grenache, mourvedre and syrah.
A classic assemblage of 70% Grenache and 15% Mourvèdre and Syrah, the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape offers notes of ripe cherries and brown sugar on the nose. Aged mainly in wooden vats, but with smaller amounts in foudre, tank and used barrels, it's full-bodied and silky textured, fine and elegant, not overly rich or concentrated, just an easy-drinking, delicious wine for early consumption. Best after 2022
It was in 1912 that Eugene Maret bought Domaine de la Charbonniere as a gift for his wife who was a native of Chateauneuf and the daughter of a winemaker. Their son Fernand Maret inherited a part of the Domaine and enlarged it upon the birth of his son Michel.
Today Michel Maret had over 16 hectares of vineyards located in the high plateaux of Les Brusquieres and La Crau both covered with the famous cailloux roulets and at Mourre des Perdix, sandy soil dotted with larger stones.
The passion and know-how of the winemaker, handpicking of the fruit, and careful sorting at the winery enable Michel Maret to optimize all the promise of a great terrior.
The vinification at the Domaine follows the classic style: no destemming, and three weeks fermentation in stainless steel vats, after which the wine is aged in large oak fourdes for 12-18 months.
Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.
According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.
Only about 6-7% of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.
The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.