2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

GDP guides us to a surprising and excellent vintage

My first place wine, the group’s first place wine
Sweet and dusty on the nose, this shows aromas of tight red fruits flecked with mineral and allspice notes. On entry the texture is quite silky with black cherry fruit that is threaded with a contrasting medicinal edge. There is lovely purity and aromatic fruit, violet and sweet spice notes that are wrapped up in a restrained, slightly chewy package. The finish is long and pure, exhibiting excellent tension and focus in the mouth and right through the end. A bit reticent today but really very fine. 94pts
My second place wine, the group’s third place wine
This is very aromatic with a little hint of lift coming from some VA. A bit of an old school nose here with violets, olives, and a bit of teriyaki all layered over dark strawberry fruit.  Smooth and polished in the mouth, showing a level of refinement that is surprising. This delivers masses of seamless slightly dark and liquory fruit supported by fine-grained tannins that extend across the long, slightly sweet finish. Very youthful. 93pts
My third place wine, the group’s seventh place wine
Smoky and a little sweet on the nose with aromas of sweet slightly stewy cherries framed by touches of chalk, old wood, beef and a little chinato spice. A little chewy on entry, this exhibits light raspberry syrup and cherry fruit with great clarity. The tannins are fresh and youthful and while they cut the finish a tad short, the fruit rings like a bell in the mouth. Classic Châteauneuf weight and balance. 91pts
My fourth place wine, the group’s fourth place wine
This had the most complex nose of the night, filled with spicy sweet/tart red fruit, fines herbs, a little beef jerky, and dustings of coffee and black pepper with a developing olive note. Smooth in the mouth, this seemed a little soft next to its peers, with a palate that showed fine dark berry fruit framed by flavors of olives and herbs that recalled the nose but lacked a bit of focus and definition. Perhaps with a hint of brett as well, as there seems to be a touch of band aid here. The finish shows fine length and finesse, leading me to believe that time will be kind here, giving at least the impression of age-worthiness. 89pts
My fifth place wine, the group's eighth place wine
This shows big olive, beef jerky beef jus and hoisin aromas on the nose over a base of jammy blackberry and sweet cherry fruit, accented with a hint of vanilla.  Matte and extracted on entry, there’s a lot of dark fruit and black pepper here in a muscular, focused style. This seems a touch closed today, though there is plenty of black fruit and medicinal notes to keep things interesting right through a powerful, clean finish that shows a hint of cinnamon. 88pts
My sixth place wine, the group’s sixth place wine
Tight and dark on the nose, with hints of old wood and cloves along with a dry earthiness, all lurking under blackberry fruit topped with hints of pepper and menthol. Smooth and a bit matte in the mouth, with some dry tannins embedded in a core of plummy fruit that’s framed with hints of meat, coffee and sweet spices. The mouthfeel is a bit foursquare here, with nice black cherry fruit on the finish. 88pts
My seventh place wine, the group’s fifth place wine
Gamy and leathery on the nose with nice aromas of dried herb, tea, medicinal flowers and dark fruit. Fresh and transparent in the mouth, this is very Grenache-driven with fresh red fruit and nutty herbal accents. While a bit simple this is quite enjoyable with all that wild strawberry fruit supported by stemmy tannins; lingering on the long finish. 87pts
My eighth place wine, the group’s second place wine
The nose here is fine and focused if entirely dominated by the aromas of crushed blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry fruit. On the palate this is low, broad and extracted with dark fruit and powerfully woody tannins that saturate the palate and cut the finish short. This wine lacks balance and is dominated by unpleasant tannins and extracted fruit. 83pts

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2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Orin Swift Prisoner Black Muscat United States California Napa Valley (2010)
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Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Premier (2010)
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Vaison la Romaine Cotes du Rhone Villages. Domaine Eric Texier (2010)
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Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc (2010)
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Montirius Vacqueyras Garrigues (2010)
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Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Châteauneuf du Pape la Crau Blanc (2010)
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Domaine Moulin-Tacussel Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2010)
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Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas (2010)
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  • Snooth User: Saffredi
    729598 151

    Hi Gregory, I am glad to see that the tasting took away (most of?) your scepticism towards Chateauneuf-du-Pape :)
    Just like in Bordeaux (and any other wine producing region for that matter) it depends mostly on the vintage (growing season) whether or not the wines from a certain region will excell. And of course, the typicity or character of the grape may or may not appeal to someone. That is a personal choice. I for one love the southern Rhone wines! P.s. you (the sceptic) and I (the admirer) have chosen the same two wines as the top of the vintage :)

    Feb 15, 2013 at 4:48 AM

  • Snooth User: Anna Savino
    Hand of Snooth
    640513 46,134

    Coincidence that i went just toCdP last summer on a road trip.. After reading this i think i will go down to the cellar and get one ready for tonight to compare notes! What do you suggest pairing with these.. For ex clos des papes 2010?

    Feb 16, 2013 at 3:43 AM

  • Snooth User: Saffredi
    729598 151

    Hi Anna,
    it seems you are one of the few lucky persons to actually have the 2010 Clos des Papes in your cellar :)

    I should emphasize ''in your cellar'', because this wine is far from ready!
    Personally, I do not prefer to drink my CdP's in their youth and my estimation would be that this particular 2010 is ready to drink some 3-4 years from now. The good news is that it should hold its own for a couple of decades.

    Looking at my tasting notes from last year november, my observations were the following:

    The 2010 Clos des Papes shows a dense purple colour. In the nose there are aromas of cocoa powder, coffee, black currant, licorice and a mix of spices. This full-bodied, meaty wine is massive and the tannin, although rounded and well-integrated, are very noticeable from start to finish. The typical aromas are very clear and detectable: plum, fig, kirsch liquor, cassis fruit. In the background I noticed some faint aromas of black tea. The alcohol is considerable: over 15% (!) Well, this is Grenache for you :) I totally did not mind the high alcohol percentage, because it was so well-integrated. This wine is almost perfectly balanced, has great length, a wonderful intensity and is stunningly complex, and finishes with an awesome persistance. It clearly needs time to mellow out the considerable tannin. Although definitely not a bargain (compared to e.g. the CdP from Beaucastel), this is one of these wines that you must have if you are a CdP groupie :) A nice detail to some is that the 2010 Clos des Papes is certified biological, starting from this vintage. The Avril family practise biodynamic farming for some years now. Compare this wine with the 2007 vintage and you will find that the 2010 has more and an even better structure.

    What to pair with this wine? First of all, I believe this wine stands so well on its own that food is not really necessary. But if you do want to pair this CdP with food, think in the line of lamb chops, roasted meat and mediterranean dishes. But avoid thick, strong-flavoured sauces! I know alot of wine consumers like to pair CdP with Asian food, but because of the strong tannin in this particular CdP avoid any overly spicy or sweet-and-sour dishes. All kind of mediterranean herbs, meaty mushrooms and truffles are welcome. Whatever you go for, keep it simple and avoid too much gravy or overly flavoured sauces.

    If you bear in mind that the 2010 Clos des Papes is still an infant, and you have acquired the skills to see and taste through the infancy, you are in for a real treat!

    I hope you enjoy it!

    Feb 16, 2013 at 8:21 AM

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