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.
Charbonnière's performance this year was remarkable, all the more so because I didn't visit the estate, so the wines were all tasted blind. The regular cuvée, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape, is a stunning blend of 70% Grenache and 15% each Mourvèdre and Syrah. Cherries, raspberries and orange zest mark the nose, while the full-bodied palate is silky-textured and concentrated, adding layers of dried spices and complex, tea-like notes. Warm and generous, it may not be the longest-lived vintage, but it will offer immense pleasure over the next decade or so.
94 points, Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (Issue # 244 - Aug 2019)
This has a super fresh and richly fruited style that has such depth and density of red plums and dark berries with a supple and even palate that delivers such richness and also precise and elegant structure. Drink or hold.
94 points, James Suckling (Oct 2019)
The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is terrific, offering classic melted licorice, earth, and ground herb notes as well as a swatch of blackberry and black cherry fruit. With medium to full body, ripe tannins, and a layered texture, it’s already impossible to resist yet will cruise for 10-15 years.
93 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Aug 2019)