A stunning effort and showing the class of the vintage, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape is comprised of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre that spent 24 months in foudre prior to bottling. Rich, textured and medium to full-bodied, with ample black cherry, olive tapenade and subtle meatiness, this traditional effort stays pure and lively, with fine tannin emerging on the finish. (JD)
Vivid ruby-red. Suave, smoke-tinged red fruit and floral pastille aromas show very good clarity and licorice and cracked pepper add complexity. Sweet and focused on the palate, offering sappy, gently chewy raspberry, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors that put on weight and spread out slowly with air. Gentle tannins give shape and grip to the clinging, impressively persistent finish, which leaves notes of berry skin and candied flowers behind. There's less Grenache than usual in this year's bottling, which no doubt contributes to the wine's spine and structure. (JR)
Long aging in cask and bottle has mellowed this wine into a complex beauty, as notes of smoke, herbs and baking spices weave through the cherry liqueur flavors. The wine lasts with a steak-like savor, meaty and earthy, and holds those flavors strong for a week after opening. That bodes well for its cellar potential, though it’s also delicious now with a lamb-and-black-olive braise.
A solid, brick-house version, with roasted mesquite and alder notes providing the frame while the steeped plum, raspberry and black currant fruit core waits in reserve. A charcoal accent pins down the finish. Should open steadily with cellaring, though this will likely maintain a pleasantly rugged feel. (JM)
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