Domaine de la Charbonniere Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Hautes Brusquières Cuvée Spéciale 2016
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|Region||France, Rhone, Chateauneuf-du-Pape|
|Brand||Domaine de la Charbonniere|
Domaine de la Charbonnière has been the singular passion of the Maret family since their purchase of this iconic property in 1912. The young and charismatic Veronique Maret is responsible for the recent meteoric rise of Charbonnière – Veronique is handling all winemaking and somehow also finding the time to run the Domaine’s sales activities. One of the most important changes Veronique made since taking over in 2012 was the move to organic viticulture. Organic farming really started to make its mark on the finished wines in 2014 and the press we’ve been seeing from that point on only validates our opinion on that front. Domaine de la Charbonnière’s holdings spread over 68 acres in some of the region’s most sought after lieu dits – 49 of these in Châteauneuf du Pape, 15 in Vacqueyras, 4 in Côtes du Rhône. Winemaking is traditional with a profound respect for grapes and terroir. Reds are fermented in conical wood vats, and aged in a mix of demi muids and barrels. While the majority of our Charbonniere references are red, Insiders have long sought out the property’s white wine offerings, which we make available to you with wide grins on our faces. These are all tactile wines that combine elegance and serious depth at once.
This Single Vineyard Cuvée reveals layered hints of dark cherries, crushed raspberry, the structure is massive yet with some elegant tannins.
A prodigious effort, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Hautes Brusquieres Cuvee Speciale was yet to be bottled during my June visit. It offers up sweet floral aromas, hints of thyme and rosemary and bold cherry fruit. Full-bodied and creamy-velvety in texture, it's a hugely seductive mouthful of wine that I found difficult to spit. If it emerges from the bottling process looking like this, buyers will have huge smiles on their faces.
Blackberries, crushed rocks, peppery herbs, and graphite notes all emerge from the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hautes Brusquières, the most concentrated, rich, and opulent in the lineup. It has brilliant purity of fruit, ripe, polished tannins, and a great, great finish, all making for a brilliant 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape that will keep for 15+ years. This fantastic, family-run estate is now firmly in the hands of sisters Caroline and Veronique Maret, yet they continue to receive help from their parents Mireille and Michel Maret and consultant Philippe Cambie. Looking at their Châteauneuf-du-Pape releases, they produce four cuvées: the Tradition, Mourre des Perdrix, Vieilles Vignes, and the Les Hautes Brusquières. The traditional cuvée comes from all the estate’s holdings and is typically a blend of 70% Grenache and 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre. It’s mostly destemmed and brought up in older barrels and stainless steel. It’s certain a terrific introduction into the style of the estate. The Mourre des Perdrix comes from more sandy soils just behind the estate and is the same blend as the classic cuvée. This cuvée is always the most seamless and elegant in the lineup. The Vieilles Vignes comes from the oldest vines of the estate and the pebbly soils of the La Crau lieu-dit. Based on 95% Grenache or more, with the balance Mourvèdre, it’s always the most structured, tannic, and masculine of the three special cuvées. Lastly, the Les Hautes Brusquières comes from the Brusquières
This sports the dark and intense fruit of the vintage's overall profile, with a range of black currant, fig and boysenberry pâte de fruit notes that meld with flavors of licorice snap, fruitcake, singed mesquite and smoldering black tea. The long finish is well-structured and focused, infused with a perfume that lingers beautifully. Best from 2022 through 2038.
Incredible depth and power here. This is saturated with ripe, black fruit and sealed up with some spicy, attractive oak. The brambly palate is powerful, concentrated and fresh. Top Châteauneuf here.
Bright violet. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes smoke-tinged raspberry, mulberry, candied lavender and spicecake. Seamless and sweet on the palate, offering sappy red berry liqueur flavors and an exotic floral pastille quality. Gains weight and spiciness with air and finishes very long, with gentle tannins and clinging sweetness.
A lovely nose with a distinctly herbal bitters vein running through the dark brambly fruits. Soft, svelte and yielding on the palate, the tannins have mass but are very ripe, just about balancing the high acidity and punchy alcohol. The most successful of Charbonnière's wines this year, and like all of them it will take a long time to come round, but should reward patience. Drinking window 2022-2031.