The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Les Hautes Brusquières (60/40 Grenache and Syrah) comes from a cooler terroir near the Mount Redon plateau and was brought up in oak tronconique tanks and demi-muids. Its dense purple, almost opaque hue is followed by a brilliant perfume of mulled red and black fruits, peppery herbs, crushed stone, violets, and licorice. With full-bodied richness, a layered, multi-dimensional texture, and just about perfect tannins, it's another superstar wine from this estate that's up with the finest vintages to date.
While I’ve always loved the wines of Domaine de la Charbonnière, recent vintages are on another level, and I’d unquestionably put the domaine up with the crème de la crème of the appellation today. Run by the Maret family, with consulting advice from Philippe Cambie, Domaine de La Charbonnière produces four cuvées: the Tradition, Mourre des Perdrix, Vieilles Vignes, and the Les Hautes Brusquières. The traditional cuvée comes from all the estate’s holdings and is typically a blend of 70% Grenache and 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre. It’s mostly destemmed and brought up in older barrels and stainless steel. It’s certain a terrific introduction into the style of the estate. The Mourre des Perdrix comes from more sandy soils just behind the estate and is the same blend as the classic cuvée. This cuvée is always the most seamless and elegant in the lineup. The Vieilles Vignes comes from the oldest vines of the estate and the pebbly soils of the La Crau lieu-dit. Based on 95% Grenache or more, with the balance Mourvèdre, it’s always the most structured, tannic, and masculine of the three special cuvées. Lastly, the Les Hautes Brusquières comes from the Brusquières plateau in the northern portion of the appellation and is a 60/40 split of Grenache and Syrah that’s destemmed and aged in a mix of foudre and barrels. This cuvée is generally the most opulent and full-bodied in the lineup (no doubt due to its large Syrah component), and while approachable in its youth, it’s capable of keeping for upward of two decades.