Variety: 80% Grenache, 7.5% Syrah, 7.5% Mourvedre, 5% Carignan
Country, Region: France, Rhone Valley
Appellation: Cotes du Rhone
Deeper colour in 2017 yet still very fresh in every way. Very concentrated and dense in 2017 - a very impressive wine and as always it wants a little time to all knit together to show its best.
’81% Grenache (av age 45 years, youngest 2004, 1992, oldest 1920s), 7.5% Syrah (1985), 7.5% Mourvèdre (1985, a recently rented plot), 5% Carignan (1950s) - before was 85% Grenache (av age 40 yrs in 2008, youngest 1992, oldest 1920s), 10% Syrah (1985), 5% Carignan (1950s) from near Maucoil, Quartier Champovin, Boislauzon, sandy, clay-limestone, some galet stones soils, light crush, whole bunch 15-20 day fermentation, daily pumping overs, press wine added, concrete vat raised 17-18 months, fined, unfiltered, organic wine, up to 50,000 b.
Dark red; the bouquet comes straight off the garrigue, with menthol, scented prune, liqueur of plum fruit, smoke-rocks present. The palate has the usual butty depth of a warm year, sinew, muscle, with vibrant tannins that add a savoury note. This is real grounded wine, one with spark. It’s moving well, has character. The finish needs time to refine – so drink from early to mid-2020. “It’s fresh, pure,” Laurent Charvin. Bottled March 2019. 2035-36.’ 3.5 stars, John Livingstone-Learmonth, The Cradle of The Rhone, May 2019.
Laurent Charvin runs this small family estate located in the north of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The domaine has vineyard holdings of just 8 hectares in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and 13 hectares in Cotes du Rhone. The average age of the vineyards is over 50 years old with the oldest being nearly 80 years of age. Laurent Charvin describes his vineyard site as being cool for Chateauneuf as their vines are mostly planted on sandy north facing slopes. Certified organic.
Charvin produces finely styled Grenache based wines showing great depth and finesse (approximately 80% Grenache for each wine with small amounts of Vacaresse and Mourvedre as well as small amounts of Carignan and Bourboulenc for the Cotes du Rhone). Winemaking is traditional with no de-stemming and all ageing is done in cement tanks. No wood is used for the elevage of either wine. There are no secrets here, simply old vines, very low yields and minimal winemaking intervention. The Cotes du Rhone is regularly rated as one of the very best from this area and perhaps it is not surprising as the vines for this cuvee border directly on to the appellation for Chateauneuf du Pape in the northern sector where they are located.