Peppery and earthy, with notes of roasted herbes de Provence, sweet cherry jam, the seaweed wrapper used in sushi bars (nori) with a touch of fig, the soft, round, generously endowed, complex 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape shows a dark garnet color and plenty of glycerin, alcohol, and fruit. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.
Terrific example of the vintage - this is loaded with pepper, garrigue, grilled herb and briary tannins of the appellation, all backed by poerful layers of dark currant, plum and blackberry fruit that mark the vintage. Lingering hint of dried orange peel adds further dimension. Best from 2007 through 2030.
In 1980, Gerard Charvin began to bottle his own wine, although the domaine had been selling wine to négociants since 1851. Today, Gerard's son, Laurent, runs the 52-acre estate. Grapes for the wine were sourced from more than 15 separate parcels among the domaine's 17 acres in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. The final blend consists of 82 percent Grenache, 8 percent Syrah, 5 percent Mourvèdre and 5 percent of the rare Vaccarèse grape, which Charvin prizes for its bright acidity. 2,730 cases made
The 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape is a brilliant effort, but it is hard to say if it will be better than the terrific 1998, 2000, and 2001. A blend of 82% Grenache, 8% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Vaccarese, it possesses a deep ruby/garnet color as well as a sweet bouquet of plums, figs, raspberries, cherries, and cola. Medium to full-bodied, with silky tannin, high glycerin, and wonderful density and depth, it is a multi-layered, sensual Chateauneuf du Pape that tastes like a grand cru Burgundy from a ripe, seductive vintage. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.
The 2003 Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape continues to show well and has none of the negative aspects of the vintage. Coming from cooler plots located in the northwest part of the appellation, it offers up a beautifully perfumed, downright elegant bouquet of white pepper, flowers, mineral, game and sweet kirsch that leads to a medium to full-bodied, balanced 2003 that has complete phenolic ripeness, solid freshness and a seamless, polished texture. Still showing a core of fruit and ripe tannin, it will be one of the longer lived '03s. Enjoy bottles over the coming decade.