2016 Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes

Year: 2016
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 96-98
Vinous Media: 95
James Suckling: 96
Jeb Dunnuck: 97-99
Wine Enthusiast: 97
Jeff Leve: 97
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 16.0%
Price :
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"Dark, winey and alluring, this delivers an intense beam of fig, boysenberry and blackberry paste flavors, inlaid with licorice snap, singed spice and warm fruitcake notes. The long finish is well-structured, letting the fruit play out against a graphite backdrop. Should age nicely. Best from 2022 through 2037. 250 cases made, 67 cases imported. -JM" (WS)

"Turning to the darker side of the fruit spectrum, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes veers toward black cherries, cola and spice. It's full-bodied, rich and velvety, but it takes a different tack than the more open and charming Les Hautes Brusquières bottling. It should drink well for close to two decades. They're the twins you might've fantasized about, one bright and bubbly, the other brooding and mysterious. And you can have both.

Only the entry-level 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape had been bottled at the time of my visit, so most of the ratings for the wines of this domaine are still preliminary. That said, the final blends for the top cuvées had been made, and they were slated to be bottled the following week, so I'm reasonably confident they will turn out as predicted. Don't neglect the wines being produced from the family's 20 hectares in the Sarrians sector of Vacqueyras, which boasts clay-and-galets soils not dissimilar from certain parts of Châteauneuf-du-Pape." (WA)

"Limpid ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, exotic spices and candied flowers, and garrigue and mineral flourishes expand with aeration. Sweet, seamless and energetic on the palate, offering intense Chambord, cherry cola, spicecake and candied lavender flavors sharpened by a late jolt of white pepper. The mineral quality comes back strong an extremely long, supple finish shaped by velvety, even tannins." (VM)

"Wild, dark berries, spicy and meaty complexity, plenty of crushed violets and an earthy edge. This is a young, frisky Châteauneuf, backed by old-vine swagger. The palate has an immensely strong core of essence-like, black-fruit flavors, top-quality tannins and superior depth. Drink in 2020." (JS)

"Brought up in new demi-muids, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre (the Mourvèdre is from the Cristia lieu-dit). Unquestionably the greatest vintage of this cuvée ever made, this crazy good 2016 knocks it out of the park with its huge nose of currants, seaweed, incense, garrigue, and chocolate. Just a massive, deep, powerful wine, with sweet tannin and remarkable purity, it’s going to flirt with perfection and keep for 20-25 years. Bravo to the Maret family as well as consultant Philippe Cambie!

This fantastic, family-run estate is now firmly in the hands of sisters Caroline and Veronique Maret, yet they continue to receive help from their parents Mireille and Michel Maret and consultant Philippe Cambie. Looking at their Châteauneuf-du-Pape releases, they produce four cuvées: the Tradition, Mourre des Perdrix, Vieilles Vignes, and the Les Hautes Brusquières. The traditional cuvée comes from all the estate’s holdings and is typically a blend of 70% Grenache and 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre. It’s mostly destemmed and brought up in older barrels and stainless steel. It’s certain a terrific introduction into the style of the estate. The Mourre des Perdrix comes from more sandy soils just behind the estate and is the same blend as the classic cuvée. This cuvée is always the most seamless and elegant in the lineup. The Vieilles Vignes comes from the oldest vines of the estate and the pebbly soils of the La Crau lieu-dit. Based on 95% Grenache or more, with the balance Mourvèdre, it’s always the most structured, tannic, and masculine of the three special cuvées. Lastly, the Les Hautes Brusquières comes from the Brusquières plateau in the northern portion of the appellation and is a 60/40 split of Grenache and Syrah that’s destemmed and aged in a mix of foudre and barrels. This cuvée is generally the most opulent and full-bodied in the lineup, and while approachable in its youth, is capable of keeping for upward of two decades." (JD)

"Veins of smoke, pepper and clove penetrate powerful black plum and mulberry flavors in this wine. It's exuberantly rich yet avoids feeling brooding or brawny. A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre, it's brightened by fresh acidity and tense, gripping tannins. Although already inviting for its forward, juicy demeanor, it's structured enough to improve through 2040 and hold further. -Anna Lee C. Iijima" (WE)

"Deep ruby in color, the concentrated wine is lusciously textured, round, sweet and sensuous. The silky tannins and layers of sweet, ripe, pure cherries feels, tastes, and smells beguiling. The wine was produced from 90% old vine Grenache tempered with 10% Mourvedre. 2172 Views Tasted Sep 18, 2018" (JL)

Winery Notes:
The Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is produced manly from La Crau and associated with some Mouvedre on sandy soil.

This wine is silkily rich with marvellous ageing potential.

Varietal Composition:
90 % Grenache, 10% Mourvedre

Enormous care is taken at harvest time. It is done in a traditional method: hand-picked harvest with a selective sorting of grapes in the vineyard and at the cellar (by using a sorting table), which are proofs of quality. We kept 25% whole clusters in this Cuvée. The vinification has be done in tronconic oak vats. The alcoholic fermentation lasts 4 to 5 weeks with different operations : A release, punching of the cap and pumping over. The malolactic fermentation is made in demi-muids and oak vats. Elevage continues in oak vats and in demi-muids

Tasting Notes:
This cuvée boasts hints of licorice, dark fruits and balsamic notes. The mouth offers a great density with a very long finish.