2010 is yet another great vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, falling on the heels of other highly acclaimed recent vintages including 2009, 2007 and 2005. Since I started cellaring wines of the Southern Rhone in the mid-90’s only the 2002 vintage has been a complete washout. Even the critically “panned” 2008 vintage has produced some delicious wines.
The flavor profile of the vintages differ though: wines from 2007 and 2009 are lush, hedonistic and fruit forward, while 2005 and 2010 are more classically structured and made to cellar.
That this vintage even came together is somewhat surprising. Winter and Spring were marked by rain, and many vintners thought they would have a small harvest. However, July and August had the lowest recorded rainfall in over a century. Those dry months may have saved the vintage.
Many of the 2010 CdP’s have started to arrive at your favorite wine retailers. Whether you’re a longtime fan or have very little experience with the region, do yourself a favor and put at least of a few of these wines in your cellar.
I’ll be looking high and low for the wines in these price ranges over the coming months:
$40 – $60
- Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape – The entry level CdP from Janasse. Hard to go wrong here if you do not want to spend big dollars on the Chaupin and Vieilles Vignes. 91-93 from the Wine Advocate (WA).
- Clos St. Jean Vieilles Vignes – Great wine at a fraction of the prices that the luxury cuvee’s, Combe des Fous and Deus Ex Machina, command. 93-96 from the WA.
- Isabel Ferrando Colombis – Old vine Grenache from Isabel Ferrando who also makes the wines at St. Prefert. 95-97 from the WA.
- Vieux Donjon – One of the best value CdP’s year in and year out. 93-95 from the WA.
- La Bastide Saint Dominique “Secrets de Pignan Vieilles Vignes” – Just an amazing wine at an even better price that somehow seams to fly under the radar. 94-96 from the WA.
- St. Prefert August Favier – One of the hottest wineries in all of CdP. A great alternative to the substantially more expensive St. Prefert Charles Guiraud. 93-95 from the WA.
$70 – $100
- Vieux Telegraphe – Maybe the most consistent producer in the Southern Rhone. 91-94 from the WA.
- Janasse Chaupin – 100% Grenache from a winery firing on all cylinders. 98-100 from the WA.
- Charvin – Potentially the best Charvin ever although my money is still on the 01. 95-97 from the WA.
- Pegau – I’m hearing this might be the best Pegau ever. Can’t wait to try it and reason enough to back up the truck. 97-99 from the WA.
- Clos des Papes – One of the great estates in all of CdP with a history dating back several hundred years. Close your eyes when you see the price and buy knowing that you are getting a world class wine that will age beautifully for 20+ years. 96-98 from the WA.
- Janasse Vieille Vignes – Always a candidate for the wine of the vintage. 98-100 from the WA.
If I can find favorable pricing I will also be looking for Beaucastel, Clos St. Jean Combe des Fous, Deus Ex Machina and Usseglio mon Aieul.
We always need another vintage of the century to justify our purchases but your truly thinks 2010 is the real deal. Buy with abandon.
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