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Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2015

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • WS95
  • JS95
  • RP94
  • JD92
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP93
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • RP95
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  • WS93
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This blend gives a lush, soft, elegant wine with rich blackberry/blackcurrant, violet and cracked pepper notes. The palate is round, supple and dominated by fruity and spicy complexity, with a mineral taste and a long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
A lovely licorice snap note leads off, followed quickly by crushed raspberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors. Rich yet restrained, with light shiso leaf, iron and incense details weaving throughout. The silky finish lets the fruit linger with a sustained hum. Grenache and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2035.
JS 95
James Suckling
Even and supple red to dark cherry and red plum fruits with a palate presence that has powerful ripe tannins that are presented in a smooth, balanced style. Extremely concentrated. This is terrific. Best from 2020.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Showing the most depth and richness of the three single vineyards, the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes comes mostly from the La Crau lieu dit (there’s a small amount from the Cristia vineyard) and is full-bodied, beautifully concentrated and textured, with classic Vieilles Vignes masculine notes of dark fruits, ground herbs, licorice and crushed rock. I normally find this cuvée to have a touch of austerity and firmness in its youth, but this beauty has sweet, polished tannin and terrific purity of fruit. I suspect it will be approachable in its youth as well, but capable of lasting for two decades.
Rating:92-94
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
Lastly, and from the oldest vines of the estate and the La Crau plateau, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is the most structured and tannin in the line (which is common), yet is balanced, elegant and impeccably made. Black cherries, dried soils, dried herbs and savory spice characteristics give way to a medium to full-bodied, straight and focused Grenache that needs 3-4 years of bottle age, and will evolve gracefully for 10-15 years.
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Domaine de la Charbonniere

Domaine de la Charbonniere

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Domaine de la Charbonniere , France - Other regions
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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.

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Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

RAE680020_2015 Item# 355519