Robert Parker 98
Made from 100% old vine Grenache, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Amiral G (only 120 cases produced) once again reminded me of Barroche’s Chateauneuf du Pape Pure. There may be a touch of Mourvedre included in the blend. The 2010 tips the scales at 16% alcohol. As a colleague said, â€œThis is like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ it’s just fifty shades of Grenache packed into one bottle.â€ Just short of perfection, this exquisite 2010 boasts huge aromatics of creamy strawberries, black cherries, raspberry jam, spring flowers, flowers, licorice and lavender. A wine of enormous stature, majestic richness and no hard edges, it is about as sexy as Grenache can be. This magnificent example of old vine Provencal viticulture will provide immense pleasure over the next 10-15 years … if you can resist it that long. This large estate owned by the Brechet family has resurrected this real chateau, one of the few in Chateauneuf du Pape, to the top rank of estates in the village. The Brechet family has also done some remarkable work in Gigondas. Their consultant, Philippe Cambie, also deserves a lot of credit. The regular Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of 80% Grenache and the rest mostly Syrah and some Mourvedre. The Grenache is aged in tank and the other two varietals spend time in new 600-liter demi-muids. The Val de Dieu cuvee is composed of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre that is given the same treatment as the regular offering. The estate’s newest effort, the Chateauneuf du Pape Amiral G, is 100% Grenache from some of the oldest vines. Chateau de Vaudieu is located east of the village of Chateauneuf du Pape, about one-half mile south of Chateau Rayas. With over 175 acres of vines, this property could be one of the most dominant forces in Chateauneuf du Pape, and it is very encouraging to see what they have accomplished over recent years. Most of their parcels are planted in sand-based soils, but some are also planted in limestone covered with the small boulders called galets roules. This is another organically farmed vineyard, and by the time this report is published, it may be certified as biodynamic as over three dozen of Philippe Cambie’s clients now are. The 2010s are major successes, even for this spectacular vintage. Importer: Eric Solomon, European Cellars, Charlotte, NC: tel. (704) 358-1565
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2027
(100% old vines grenache): Opaque ruby. An explosive perfume of black and blue fruit preserves, sexy vanillin oak and incense. Broad and chewy on entry, then fleshier and smoother in the mid-palate, offering deeply concentrated blueberry and boysenberry flavors lifted by a subtle mineral quality. Tannins build through an impressively long, alluringly sweet finish, which features a touch of candied lavender.
Jeb Dunnuck 99
A new cuvee that’s a blend of 100% Grenache that is aged all in new demi-muids, the 2010 Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape Amiral G. was one of the most spectacular wines I was able to taste during my two weeks spent working in the Rhône Valley. It offers up a profound bouquet of kirsch liqueur, spice, rolled stone minerality, garrigue, and crushed flowers (among other things) that flows to a full-bodied, elegant, yet decadently textured Châteauneuf-du-Pape that has unbelievable purity, no hard edges, and a blockbuster finish. Just jaw dropping good, it is a must taste for any pure Grenache lovers out there! It will be hard to resist young, yet I suspect it will age beautifully as well.