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  • Writer's pictureKate Simpson

VIRTUAL TASTING: Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010

And here we are already at the end of our 2021 season of tastings - didn't that come around quickly?! But what better way to leave this year behind than with a vintage tasting flight of Rhône wines. I am a tiny bit biased about this tasting as CnDP is my favourite AOC (and, according to my tasting notes from the evening: the more aromatic the better!).

As it is my favourite wine I decided not to share my mini-bottles of goodness, so my husband and I ordered one tasting flight each. Here we are getting all set up for our tasting, and using every wine glass we have available!

Our guide this evening was Marc Staples, a Buyer and Product Manager for LCBO, who in fact last led our tasting way back in 2006 with a Châteauneuf-du-Pape vintage tasting of 1998s! How would the 2010s stack up against that vintage I wonder?

Our tasting notes for the evening (see link at the end of this page) give some background to the AOC and the region more generally but some of the background and 'Fascinating Facts' that Marc led us through included looking at some of the producers responsible for some of our bottles this evening. The majority of whom have between five and fifteen hectares of land, making them mid-sized producers able to bottle between 10,000 and 30,000 bottles every year. And that 2010 was an excellent vintage in that it was a hot and sunny year in all the right places. The mistral keeps the grapes dry and mold-free in the region, meaning they need far less intervention than other regions, particularly if the weather is balanced in a typical year. And finally: that out of our eight wines this evening, there are two that are 100% Grenache and the other six stuck firmly to their allowance of blending from 13 (or more!) grapes. Would I be able to tell which two were 100% Grenache I wonder?

Being able to sample eight different producers from the same region and from the same vintage is the reason I love being a member of TVC. And being able to reflect on the question: do I prefer wines where most of the fruit may be gone, revealing the tertiary characteristics of tobacco, forest floor and Christmas pudding-like stewed fruit?

This was a very strong selection of complex wines with lots going on with the nose and long finishes. A couple that could do with drinking now as they were at the peak of their taste, and a few that could lay down for another few years yet. But a difficult selection to score and select one's favourites from - or that's what I found anyway. How about you?

Here are the full scores from the evening. How did your scores fare compared to Marc and the rest of the Group?

And see the original tasting notes for these eight wines below:

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape
Download PDF • 119KB

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