A wine that might rival the 2001 when all is said and done, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de La Reine des Bois is an incredible effort that does everything right. Possessing a voluptuous, decadent and super-rich profile, it stays graceful and perfectly balanced, with beautiful freshness, a stacked mid-palate and a blockbuster finish. Opening up in the glass, with copious blackberry, cassis, graphite, violets and spring flower-like nuances, it needs another 2-3 years of bottle age, and will have upward of three decades of overall longevity. Drink 2016-2046
The emperor of southern Rhône appellations, Châteauneuf du Pape was the first A.O.C. in all of France, created in 1936. Their bottle is unique embossed with the papal coat of arms. Thirteen varieties (14 if Grenache Blanc is counted separately) can be incorporated in the blend. The reds include: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, Terret Noir, Picpoul, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscardin, while the whites are Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Clairette. Only a handful of producers use all 13, Grenache often being the highest percentage of the blend. This enables each producer to highlight the varieties that are the ripest and most interesting in any given year. Most Châteauneuf du Pâpes are master examples of wines that can be approachable within the first few years of release yet able to develop superb complexity during many years of cellaring.