Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The April installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the the 2010 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened on Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

Prior to the vintage overview I wanted to acknowledge that I actually forgot to do a March version of Pick My Next Bottle. A new job and changes in “personnel” at Zinfandel Chronicles might have been what distracted me but nonetheless things are slowly returning to normal here.

The 2010 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape was characterized by low yields but high quality. Rain in the Spring and a dry but moderate Summer led to stunning wines that will be long lived. I have not checked in on any the wines below but I suspect they will all drink well for years to come. I’ve intentionally left some of the best wines from this vintage including Clos des Papes, Vieux Telegraphe and Beaucastel for a future version of Pick My Next Bottle.

The Contenders

  • 2010 Clos Saint Jean Vieilles Vignes – More deep, rich and layered, with smoke, dried earth, ground pepper, leather, and ripe blackberry-styled fruit, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is an incredible effort that has me purchasing more bottles every time I taste it. Showing more concentration than both the ’11 and ’09, with sweet tannin, it closed down slightly right after release, but was drinking beautifully on this occasion. 96 points from The Wine Advocate.
  • 2010 Domaine de la Janasse – A terrific value among top-flight Châteauneufs, even Janasse’s entry-level wine excels in 2010. Sexy leather and suede trappings embrace ripe cherry and chocolate notes, while the palate exudes lushness yet retains enough firmness on the finish to suggest a lifespan of at least 6–8 years. 94 points from The Wine Enthusiast.
  • 2010 Le Vieux Donjon – The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape is a traditionally made cuvee aged totally in tank and foudre. Its inky/purple color is followed by a sweet bouquet of black olives, incense, blackberries, mulberries, black cherries and lavender. This perfumed, super-concentrated 2010 possesses good acidity, ripe tannin and a full-bodied, expansive mouthfeel. This mouth-coating, saturated, dense Chateauneuf du Pape has plenty of tannin to shed, so give it 3-4 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following two decades. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Should I Open?

  • 2010 Domaine de la Janasse (59%, 10 Votes)
  • 2010 Le Vieux Donjon (35%, 6 Votes)
  • 2010 Clos Saint Jean Vieilles Vignes (6%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another.

Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the May Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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