Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape 2018
|Region||France, Rhone, Chateauneuf-du-Pape|
Located in the northwest part of the appellation, with vines chiefly in Cabrieres, Maucoil, and Mont Redon, Laurent Charvin makes one of the most elegant and seamless Châteauneuf-du-Papes. He farms all his 9ha Chateauneuf-du-Pape parcels organically. Depending on the crop variation each vintage the blend is roughly 85% Grenache average vine age 58 years, 5% Mourvèdre 61 years, 5% Vaccarèse 62 years, 5% Syrah 21 years. Opting to produce a single cuvée, the winemaking here is staunchly traditional, with no destemming and fermentation and aging occurring all in concrete tanks for 21 months, bottled unfiltered. This is a wine that can age 20 years from any vintage as well as be accessible quite young with just a little breathing.
Dark glistening red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, baking spices, garrigue and candied flowers, and a smoky mineral flourish appears as the wine opens up. Sappy, sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry and lavender pastille flavors joined by hints of allspice and bitter chocolate. Smooth and seamless in texture, showing superb finishing clarity, gently gripping tannins and strong, spicy persistence. This is a somewhat more brawny wine than usual for Laurent Charvin, but it still retains the domaine’s trademark balance and energy
As to the top wine, I was able to taste the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape from multiple tanks, all rating between 92 and 95 points. All of the wines showed the dark, blue-tinged fruit style that’s common in the vintage at this point as well as medium to full body, notable complexity, and a seamless, silky, finesse-oriented style that still carries plenty of density and depth. I suspect it will be a step back from the 2016 and 2017, but it’s a beautiful wine in the making that will have plenty of early appeal yet still age gracefully.