2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Grenaches de Pierre, Domaine Giraude

2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Grenaches de Pierre, Domaine Giraude

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Domaine Giraud | Code: 10832 | 2010 | France > Rhône > Chateauneuf du Pape | Southern Rhône Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 15.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

PARKER

98-100/100

PARKER - While no Chateauneuf du Pape Les Grenaches de Pierre was produced in 2009, the 2010 is spectacular. Its dense black/purple color is hard to believe given the fact it is 100% Grenache aged entirely in concrete. Deep, full-bodied and unctuously textured, it boasts off-the-charts richness as well as potential complexity. One of the greatest young Chateauneuf du Papes I have ever tasted, it is one of the few 2010s that eclipses what the estate achieved in 2007. The 2010 should turn out to be one of the wines of the vintage. Unfortunately, there are only around 250 cases made each year, perhaps even less in 2010 due to the loss of about 30-40% of the Grenache crop due to poor flowering. If you haven’t discovered Giraud, it’s time to jump on their bandwagon.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate #197 Oct 2011)

The Story

Domaine Giraud

Producer

Domaine Giraud

Domaine Giraud is new to our list this year. Having espied an impressive progression over the last three years, we feel that the 2009 has progressed even further. Marie Giraud is the talented winemaker and advice from the larger-than-life consultant Monsieur Philippe Cambie has brought the property to the boil. The biodynamic approach to viticulture was more than a match, it seems, for the intense heat of high summer, when moisture was at a premium.

Grape

Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

Region

Chateauneuf du Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the largest and most important wine appellation in the southern Rhône. It is home to more than 3,200 hectares of vineyards and over 80 growers; more wine is produced in Châteauneuf than the whole of the northern Rhône put together. The vineyards are bounded to the west by the Rhône river and to the east by the A7 autoroute.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée established in France, in 1932. Small, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed known as galets roulés are a key aspect of what makes Châteauneuf -du-Pape wines so distinctive, with the rocks reflecting heat back into the vines at night, thus increasing ripeness and reducing acidity.

The gloriously rich red wines, redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, are enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Fourteen are permitted for reds: GrenacheMouvedreSyrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache typically dominates with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support.

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is becoming increasingly sought-after, even though it represents less than 10 percent of the total production. Here, five grapes are permitted: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin.

Recommended Producers: Château de Beaucastel, Clos de Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Château Rayas,, Domaine de la Charbonnière, Sabon, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Perrin

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