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Today's email features some of our favorite wines of the Southern Rhône, highlighting the great white Châteauneuf-du-Papes of Laurent Charvin and Eric Texier. We're very happy to bring back the beautiful Gigondas from Gour de Chaulé, a bit more CDP from Jacqueline André and the great value CDR and VDP from Charvin. These are superb traditional wines, products of great organic farming, whole-cluster, wild yeast fermentations and no use of new oak - zero spoofalation and 100% delicious!
Laurent Charvin does not chase point scores - he produces some of the most elegant, terroir expressive and authentic wines of the southern Rhône. Since 2016, Charvin has been producing a deliciously different Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc primarily from 50 year-old vines of Clairette Rose, with Bourboulenc from 70 year-old vines in the vineyards of Maucoil and Cabrieres on galet stone and sandy clay soils. In this he joins Eric Texier, Jacqueline Andre and a few others who produce superb CDP whites from these two heirloom varieties. Don't miss this rare and beautiful wine - about 90 cases are produced.
A special treat in today's email are a few bottles of the Charvin 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge This is one of the greatest and certainly most authentic wines from this superb vintage for Châteauneuf du Pape - enjoy now or cellar ten more years...
Eric Texier says "Châteauneuf du Pape is certainly the best white wine terroir in the Rhône Valley. Warm and sapid wine in its youth, the wine evolves into noble notes of pine nuts, turpentine, and honey. A fascinating pairing with Provençal cuisine but also surprisingly unorthodox in its possibilities to match all types of food." Only a few bottles of Eric's 2018 are left, look out for the 2019 in January. (Eric and Laurence Texier will be present for a dinner/tasting at Chambers on Sat, Nov 5th, please email david@chambersstwines if you're interested.)
Jacqueline André at Domaine Pierre André makes our favorite Châteauneuf-du-Papes. Her 2021 Blanc will not arrive until this winter, but we've held a bit of the 2016 and 2019 Rouge from our last shipment.
Domaine Gour de Chaulé The Domaine du Gour de Chaulé, situated in the heart of the village of Gigondas, was founded in 1900 by Eugene Bonfils, the great-grandfather of the current proprietor, Stéphanie Fumoso. "The 10-hectare estate is made up of 23 plots whose diversity of terroir and exposure contribute to creating a vast aromatic palette that can be found in our wines. The average age of the vines is 60 years and our oldest plot planted by Stéphanie's great-grandfather, Eugène, is now a hundred and twenty years old (1901)." Juice from this parcel "les Teyssonnieres" and from "la Poncette," planted in 1925, is included the Cuvée Tradition on offer today. As Aline BONFILS likes to say, “among the vigneronnes of Gour de Chaulé, the spirit of the terroir and the typicity of the appellation have resisted new fashions…” The terroir is sandy clay over limestone, farming is certified organic, fermentations are whole-cluster, in concrete vat, with aging in vat and large barrels for about 18 months, bottling is unfined and unfiltered. We're very happy to offer these two excellent vintages at Gour de Chaulé which are products of superb traditional winemaking - decant or aerate the 2019 if possible, the 2015 is ready and will cellar nicely for another 10 years.
2020 Charvin Vin de pays IGP Principauté d’Orange "à côté" This is “a serious wine, but intended to be accessible and easily drinkable" says Laurent Charvin. Made from 50 year-old Grenache vines and younger Merlot vines grown in Orange around the winery. The 2020 is a real knock-out - serve it a bit cool - it's a great everyday red at a fabulous price!
Wines arrive Tuesday 9/20. 2010 Charvin is net priced, all others discount 10% on a case/mixed case.
"Châteauneuf du Pape is certainly the best white wine terroir in the Rhône Valley. Warm and sapid wine in its youth, the wine evolves into noble notes of pine nuts, turpentine, and honey. A fascinating pairing with Provencal cuisine but also surprisingly unorthodox in its possibilities to match all types of food. The 2018 is from old vines of Clairette and Bourboulenc in "Bois Senechaux" - the north-facing site is flat and stony with the classic glacial galets roulés and cool, clay-based soils over limestone mother rock. Direct vertical pressing of whole clusters; fermentation with indigenous yeasts in small, used oak barrels with no sulfur; malolactic fermentation; aging in 3 - 5 year-old barrels on the fine lees with no racking for 16-20 months; bottling without fining or filtering or any addition of sulfur. Tiny production. "The magic of Bourboulenc" says Eric, "the 2018 has huge potential but is so good now!"
Since 2016, Laurent Charvin has been producing a deliciously different Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc primarily from 50 year-old vines of Clairette Rose, with Bourboulenc from 70 year-old vines in the vineyards of Maucoil and Cabrières on galet stone and sandy clay soils. (Whole-cluster pressing, fermentation in vat, malo done, aged in steel tank for 9 months, only 90 cases made.) The 2020, from drinkrhone: "fine, pale yellow; the nose is graceful, shows spice, spring flowers, jasmin with a touch of camomile infused tea, is very well defined. The palate links very well to the nose, is softly and elegantly furnished, extends with a velvet caress, is most appealing, calm, all in tune. There is a very discreet tone of peach, and this offers max appeal, is sultry, a little mysterious, balanced and refined on the aftertaste. " Drink now and over the next fifteen to twenty years.
The Laurent Charvin "Le Poutet" is made from average 50 year-old vines (some are 90 years-old!) of 80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Syrah and Carignan in vineyards that abut Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Maucoil in the northwest and Campovin and Boislauzon in the northeast. The soils are sandy clay/limestone with galets stones. The grapes undergo a 15 to 20-day whole bunch fermentation with daily pumping-overs, the wine then spends 18 months in concrete vat and is bottled unfined and unfiltered. The resulting wine is equal to many Châteauneuf-du-Pape, offering complex aromas of garrigue and spicy red fruits with the structure to evolve and drink well over ten to fifteen years. The lovely 2020 shows "a red robe; the nose carries a light essence of cooked plum fruit, strawberry jam, pepper, peony. It’s wide, will emerge and evolve well. The palate is close-knit, herbal-peppery, lined with red cherry, brisk fruits, cut in the tannins that still stand a little on the outside. Its frame is a bit skeletal, can amplify. There is rocky powder emphasis on the close, the length good. I like its gradual upping of the tempo, depth. It has interest, hidden corners, is not an open book. “It’s very fresh, always had foundation. 2019 is powerful, but 2020 bears jolis fruits, has true class, an identity,” Laurent Charvin." drinkrhone.com
The 2019 Charvin is a beautiful Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Review from drinkrhone.com: "quite a full red robe; the nose is very smoky, lined with pepper, rosemary, plums, is a virile do, is going to open devilishly well in a large glass, is a right goer potentially. The palate is clad in firm gras, has a real good heartbeat, a proper structure; the second half really digs in, persists, intensifies, the tannins rocky on the outside, compact on the inside, serve a very good buttress. There’s good concentration here, it’s well orchestrated, its depth coming from within, the length very good. “I am super proud of this – there’s a lot of alcohol, it’s very rich, but you have floral-herbaceous airs on the nose, rosemary and thyme. It’s very airborne for a powerful year,” says Laurent Charvin." Hold a few years then enjoy until 2050.
(Arrives 9/20) What a treat - one of the top CDPs of 2010, now reaching maturity! What follows is our review from 2015. "The 2010 Charvin is indeed a beautiful Chateauneuf that shows a bright black/garnet color with very floral and sweet aromas of crushed blackberry with a bit of tart plum, quite pure and pretty with hints of black raspberry, brown spice, garrigue, licorice, earth and roast meat emerging with aeration. The palate is dense and sapid but beautifully balanced with sweet blackberry and black cherry fruit with game, spice, earth, tea and citrus. The finish is firm and long with dense red currant fruit, licorice, spicy citrus and earthy flavors that linger on the palate. This is a superb Châteauneuf-du-Pape that can be enjoyed immensely now or cellared until 2032 - 2035." David Lillie (2015 tasting)
50% Grenache, 50% Merlot from Orange, around the domaine, light crush, whole bunch 15-20 day fermentation, aged in concrete vat for 17-18 months. The 2020 "a coté shows a "pretty red colour; has a very nicely open, peppery nose, roller skates red fruits, lots of verve. This gives really open drinking, racy red fruits, pepper-herbs late on. This is what one wants par excellence. Its juice is very appealing, including a late tasty nugget, a squeezy moment, the finish nice and simple, clear." Drink this beautiful everyday red a bit cool ver the next 3 - 4 years. (drinkrhone.com)
"The 10-hectare Gour de Chaule estate is made up of 23 plots whose diversity of terroir and exposure contribute to creating a vast aromatic palette that can be found in our wines. The average age of the vines is 60 years and our oldest plot planted by Stéphanie's great-grandfather, Eugène, is now a hundred and twenty years old" 2019 is a terrific vintage in Gigondas and at Gour de Chaulé. "full red colour; menthol, mixed herbs circulate in a bouquet with cool dark fruits, smoke present, not yet properly declared. It speaks clearly of the garrigue. The attack takes a cool tone as well, has a mineral feel, a lithe texture, with mixed berries, licorice in the flavour, tannins that are still crisp and without rather than within. It’s going to slowly fuse and expand at the same time, is upright in shape, carries clear definition." Drink this beautiful wine over the next 20 years.
"The 2015 Gour de Chaulé shows an attractive red robe, has lustre. The bouquet rests on an elegant offer of neat, fresh raspberry fruit, with blackberry touches behind, has a little smoky spice and menthol as well. It shows the coolness of Gigondas. The palate is still tight, but clearly defined. This serves a snappy glass, finesse over power. The Grenache is a pure contributor, and gives it its heart. The finish is dark, tarry still, with a little increase in depth from its cool tannins. This is a wine of terroir, authentic Gigondas that gives access to the feel of the place. The cool close invites a second glass. "Drink now and until 2030.(DrinkRhone)
We consider Domaine Pierre André to be one of the greatest estates in Châteuneuf-du-Pape. Organic since 1980 (one of the first in the AOC) and Biodynamic since 1992. The red is 90% Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscadin and Picpoul. Some parcels are over 100 years old, with the average vine age around 65 years. The 2016 is a beautiful glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, showing fresh, complex aromas of ripe blackberry with cherry, spice, rose, earth, tar, smoke and floral notes. On the palate, the wine is perfectly structured, similar to the 2010, with deep blackberry and black cherry liqueur with spice, garrigue, earth and saline minerals. A great CDP for aging, this is delicious now in its vibrant youth, but will repay waiting for ten years and then enjoy until 2050! Very highly recommended. David Lillie
The superb 2019 Pierre André CDP Rouge is 90% Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscadin and Picpoul. Some parcels are over 100 years old, with the average vine age around 65 years. From drinkrhone: "handsome dark red robe; the nose has depth from within, a really inviting aroma of finely sweet plums, with some cedar, gently perfumed notes around them. It’s a very good start. The palate runs with a stately roll of red stone fruits, lovely engagement thanks to its stylish gras, its spherical shape most appealing. The balance is good. This is Châteauneuf of terroir, no make-up added, is a very bonny Grenache-inspired wine, has smoky, tobacco, menthol tones late on. Much harmony here, not sure what else one could demand from it - way to go, Jacqueline!" Drink 2025 - 2050.