B-21 Top Recommendation
Michel Maret, passionate, yet a man of very, very few words, inherited Domaine de la Charbonniere from his father in 1973. It was Maret's grandfather, Eugene Maret, who originally purchased the domaine, in 1912, a gift for his wife – her father a top winemaker in the village. Michel christened the domaine, naming it for one of the many parcels which comprise its multiple holdings – a particularly fine plot situated in the eastern sector near Courthezon.
In addition to the 50-year-old vines in the Charbonniere lieu-dit, their oldest vines are based in the renowned Le Crau lieu dit (adjacent to the Brunier family's ancient plot); a site covered with those well-known galets roulés. In total, the estate now covers 45 acres in Chateauneuf, producing up to 8 individual cuvees based on vintage conditions.
These new cuvees are the work of Michel Maret's highly talented, immensely gifted daughters – the fourth generation to join the family estate – Caroline and Veronique. They began converting the estate to organics shortly after joining their father in 2004, and the results of their work are phenomenal. Each vintage they've produced – 2007, 2010, 2012 – from bud break to bottling have been better than the one preceding.
Leading off the three special cuvées, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Mourre Des Perdrix comes from sandy soils near the estate and is always one of the more elegant, seamless wines from this estate. Beautiful red and blue fruits, kirsch, flowers, and spice notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, seamless, incredibly floral 2017 that has silky, polished tannins. This cuvée is 70% Grenache and 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre (there’s a splash of Cinsault) and it’s brought up in a mix of larger oak tanks and demi-muids.
95 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Aug 2019)
After a rather long elevage—I've already reviewed this wine twice prior to bottling—the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Mourre des Perdrix exhibits a wonderfully generous yet silky and elegant presence in the mouth. Yes, it's full-bodied and high in alcohol (16% alcohol on the label), yet it manages to carry that with aplomb, masking the warmth with opulent red raspberries, black cherries and hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Drink this already delicious wine over the next decade.
94 points, Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (Issue # 251 - Oct 2020)
Such beautifully fresh and attractive ripe red plums and rich berries here. This offers such rich and long, sweet fruit that holds the finish super deep and long. Dark-cherry and berry flavors abound. Drink over the next decade.
94 points, James Suckling (Oct 2019)