Domaine Charbonniere Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vielles Vignes 2006
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Wine Spectator - "Quite taut for now, with a sinewy feel holding the black cherry, currant and raspberry fruit at bay. The long, nicely structured finish lets spice and mineral notes check in. Best from 2009 through 2028. 1,000 cases made. "
Domaine Charbonniere Winery
It was in 1912 that Eugene Maret bought Domaine de la Charbonniere as a gift for his wife who was a native of Chateauneuf and the daughter of a winemaker. Their son Fernand Maret inherited a part of the Domaine and enlarged it upon the birth of his son Michel.
Today Michel Maret had over 16 hectares of vineyards located in the high plateaux of Les Brusquieres and La Crau both covered with the famous cailloux roulets and at Mourre des Perdix, sandy soil dotted with larger stones.
The passion and know-how of the winemaker, handpicking of the fruit, and careful sorting at the winery enable Michel Maret to optimize all the promise of a great terrior.
The vinification at the Domaine follows the classic style: no destemming, and three weeks fermentation in stainless steel vats, after which the wine is aged in large oak fourdes for 12-18 months. View all Domaine Charbonniere Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-Pape(shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.