2017 Domaine de la Charbonniere Cuvee Vieilles Vignes (1.5L)

Grenache from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France

B-21 Top Recommendation
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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.


A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre from the lieux-dits of La Crau (sud) and Cristia, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes is huge in the mouth, full-bodied and expansive, with a rich, velvety texture and tremendous length. Notes of raspberries, black cherries, dark chocolate, cola and licorice are compacted into this dense ball of richness, which somehow avoids feeling heavy or warm, framed by a webbing of fine-grained tannins and surprising acidity. I don't know if it will age well past about a decade or so, but it's pretty darn delicious now.

97 points, Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (Issue # 251 - Oct 2020)

The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes checks in as 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre and it comes mostly from the La Crau lieu-dit, with a smaller amount from the Cristia lieu-dit (which isn’t far from where the domaine is located). Classic notes of kirsch liqueur, crushed rocks, spice, and incense all emerge from the glass, and it has a rich, structured, full-bodied style that’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age. Nevertheless, it shows the Provençal, classic style of this great vintage. 333 cases.

96 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Aug 2019)

Aromas of violets, dark cherries and white stones here, as well as a smooth and succulent feel to the palate. A wealth of blueberries, plums and garrigue, too. The palate has such depth and suave tannin delivery and the rich, dark-plum and cherry flavors hold so long and intense. This will age so well. Best from 2025.

96 points, James Suckling (Oct 2019)

Alcohol By Volume: 16.0%
29 bottles in stock. Ships in 1 to 2 business days.