Robert Parker 99.25
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. As I wrote in the intro for this domaine last year, Domaine de la Mordoree is a reference point estate for Chateauneuf du Pape. Run by the talented brother duo of Fabrice and Christophe Delorme, with Christophe making the wines, they produce a relatively modern-styled Chateauneuf, as well as more than noteworthy Liracs and Tavels. For this tasting at the domaine (I was also able to taste through this full lineup again, from bottles in the U.S.), we started with the older vintages and worked toward the more current releases. In addition to their Reine des Bois cuvee, the Delorme brothers also release a special cuvee call the Cuvee de la Plume du Peintre. It’s made only in top vintages, and, as of today, it’s only been made in 2003 and 2005. There’s a scant 150 cases of each. Coming from a plot of 80-year-old vines located in the famed La Crau lieu-dit, the blend has changed between the two releases, as has the elevage. Importer: Fran Kysela, Kysela Pere et Fils, Winchester, VA; tel. (540) 722-9228; fax (540) 722-9258
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2046
Opaque ruby. Sexy, intensely perfumed bouquet presents candied dark fruits, spices and potpourri, with bright minerality adding lift. Deeply pitched but impressively energetic, offering sweet blueberry and cassis flavors and a jolt of cracked pepper. The floral and spice notes come back on the potent finish, which shows harmonious tannins and outstanding persistence. By smoothly playing richness off vivacity it’s almost shockingly approachable now, not that I’d be touching mine for at least another five years or so.