The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes is a blend of 85% Grenache and the rest equal parts Syrah and Mourvedre from the same parcels as the 2011. The wine is aged primarily in foudres with small percentages of the Syrah and Mourvedre kept in new 600-liter demi-muids. A spectacular effort, it displays a confit of camphor, blueberries, blackberries, black raspberries, lavender and other floral notes. This full-bodied, massive Chateauneuf du Pape is remarkably light on its feet despite what must be 15+% alcohol. Incredibly pure and remarkably intense, this is a tour de force from Nicolas Boiron. It should drink well for two decades. (RP)
Inky ruby. A heady, exotically perfumed bouquet displays scents of raspberry and cherry liqueur, sandalwood, potpourri and woodsmoke. Intensely spicy and precise on the palate, which offers juicy red fruit flavors and suggestions of candied flowers and spicecake. Velvety tannins add shape to a strikingly long, smooth and floral-accented finish that shows outstanding energy and clarity.
Very dark crimson. Opulent, fully ripe fruit with some minerality. Very juicy and taken to the limit. Dramatic wine! Lots of tannin and (just) enough acidity. This is definitely Cuvée Spéciale material, though at present it is quite inky on the finish. 18/20 points. Drink 2020-2032.
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