2007 Domaine de la Charbonniere, Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvee Vieilles Vignes” Rhone Red, France.
There are times when you just see a bottle and smile, this is one of those wines and getting a chance to sample it made the smile even bigger, and the 2007 Charbonniere is drinking beautifully. In a group of top Chateauneuf from the vintage, the Domaine de la Charbonniere old vines cuvee came out the top wine, in a friendly face of, that I just happened in on at my local bistro. While the 2007 was much hyped, the wine up until now have not lived up to the craze, but this looks like when the window is opening and them begin to show there potential, so if you have 2007 in your cellar, it is a time to get a bit more excited, though another few years will be best. The Charbonniere is lush, loaded with dark fruits, but still firm and tightly wound with stoney mineral, earthy spices and remarkable freshness, it starts with lavender, chalk, cassis and peppered strawberry leading to a palate of boysenberry, plum and cherry notes while hints of leather, garrigue and licorice all add complexity. This is pure magic, but given a bit more development it will only get better and more refined, lucky those that have some of this Chateauneuf-du-Pape tucked away, I’m jealous.
($55-70 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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