Wine & Spirits 96 points - The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape flirts with perfection. A classic blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah, Vaccarese and Counoise, all aged in large foudres in Clos des Papes’s air-conditioned and humidity-controlled wine cellar, the wine boasts a dense purple color along with lots of gorgeously pure black raspberry, black currant and kirsch liqueur notes intermixed with notions of spring flowers, tapenade, licorice and spice box. This dense, full-bodied, powerful Chateauneuf is also remarkably fresh and well-delineated. It even exceeded the 2007 in natural alcohol, coming in at 15.9%. With an extraordinary texture and considerable tannin in the finish, it will benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age, and is built for 25-30 years of cellaring. Don’t miss it!”
Lots of cocoa powder and coffee frame a massive block of dark plum, black currant and fig fruit, while massively endowed tannins stride from start to finish. Cassis, anise and Lapsang souchong tea notes hang in the background for now, but should emerge more with extended cellaring. The very dark, almost brooding finish is dominated by charcoal-coated grip, but the purity still wins out in the end. A very, very large wine. Best from 2017 through 2035. From France.—J.M.
Rated #4 in Wine Spectator’s 2012 Top 100