Variety: 80% Grenache, 7.5% Syrah, 7.5% Mourvedre, 5% Carignan
Country, Region: France, Rhone Valley
Appellation: Cotes du Rhone
’81% Grenache (av age 40 yrs in 2012, youngest 2004, 1992, oldest 1920s), 7.5% Syrah (1985), 7.5% Mourvèdre (1985, a recently rented plot), 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 18 months, fined, unfiltered, up to 50,000 b.
(vat, bottling Feb 2022) red robe; the nose carries a light essence of cooked plum fruit, strawberry jam, pepper, peony. It’s wide, will emerge and evolve well. The palate is close-knit, herbal-peppery, lined with red cherry, brisk fruits, cut in the tannins that still stand a little on the outside. Its frame is a bit skeletal, can amplify. There is rocky powder emphasis on the close, the length good. I like its gradual upping of the tempo, depth. It has interest, hidden corners, is not an open book. “It’s very fresh, always had foundation. 2019 is powerful, but 2020 bears jolis fruits, has true class, an identity,” Laurent Charvin. 14.5°. From 2024, decant. Drink to 2038-40.’ 4 stars, John Livingstone-Learmonth, drinkrhone.com, October 2021.
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.