TASTING DOMAINE DE LA CHARBONNIERE JEB DUNNUCK

JEB DUNNUCK
28th Oct 2016 | The Wine Advocate6f8792c806714f3981c653495c0c9a61_charbonniere1
Vintage Wines RP
2010 Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape les Hautes Brusquieres Cuvee Speciale 97
2007 Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape les Hautes Brusquieres Cuvee Speciale 96
2009 Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape les Hautes Brusquieres Cuvee Speciale 95
2007 Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes 95
2010 Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes 95

Going back to 1912, Domaine de la Charbonnière has been passed down through the Maret family for generations, and today it is run by sisters Caroline and Veronique Maret, with their parents Mireille and Michel still actively involved. The estate covers 17 hectares, mostly located in the eastern portion of Châteauneuf du Pape, yet also with vines in Les Brusquières and Barratin, both of which are in the northern part of the appellation. They make a number of cuvées, with a number of site-specific wines that truly show individual, unique characters, which are always a joy to taste through. In general, these are destemmed (starting in 2000) and aging occurs in a mix of foudres, tanks and smaller barrels.

To quickly go through the wines that are the focus of this retrospective, the classic Châteauneuf du Pape is a destemmed blend of mostly Grenache with 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre. It comes from all of the estate’s terroirs and is brought up in tank, foudre and smaller barrels.

The first of the three site-specific Châteauneuf du Papes is the Mourre des Perdrix, which comes from vineyards just beside the estate (this is in the eastern portion of the appellation) and mostly sandy and clay-laced soils. This is always the most elegant and seamless of the special cuvées, and despite its forward character, it ages beautifully on its balance.

The Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is more Grenache-dominated (95% Grenache and 5% Mourvèdre) and comes from the La Crau lieu-dit. This cuvée is always the most tannic, structured and even austere at times.

Lastly, the Châteauneuf du Pape Hautes Brusquières comes from the Brusquières lieu-dit in the northern part of the appellation. It includes a large chunk of Syrah (upwards of 40%) and is always the largest scaled, most textured and rich of the three special cuvées.

An Incredible History Lesson
For this monster tasting, we went through almost all of the cuvées, from the youngest to the oldest wines, tasting each vintage together. The special cuvées were tasted back to 1994, with the classic Châteauneuf du Pape going all the way back to 1969. This was truly an incredible tasting and I was honored to take part.

Thanks for reading.

 

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