The Usseglio’s consider the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul to be their greatest to date. I’ve done numerous tastings with the 2010 and 2007 side by side, and more times than not, I think the 2007 is the better wine. Time will tell though, and both are sensational wines that readers should have in their cellars. The inky colored 2010 is 100% Grenache fermented with 30% stems and aged in a combination of older barrels and foudre. More focused and precise than the '07 (and even darker in color), yet still with massive concentration and depth, it offers deep, rich notes of blackberries, cassis, ground herbs, pepper and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, thick and layered on the palate, it never puts a foot wrong, has fabulous purity and a blockbuster finish. It needs 3-4 years of cellaring, but will have 20-25 years of longevity.
The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul (cropped at 12-16 hectoliters per hectare) comes from the estate's finest vineyards in the southern part of the appellation (Les Grandes Serres), the eastern sector (the famed La Crau) and the northern sector (Guigasse). The wine is aged primarily in stainless steel tanks with a small percent (less than 20%) kept in 600-liter demi-muids. Despite the 16.5% natural alcohol, there is not a trace of heat in this wine. It is stunningly concentrated with great intensity as well as classic blueberry, peppery, incense, camphor, fig and licorice characteristics. Rich and full-bodied with slightly more freshness than their profound 2007, the 2010 Mon Aieul should age effortlessly for two decades.