Laurent Charvin runs this small family estate located in the north of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The domaine has vineyard holdings of just 8 hectares in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and 13 hectares in Cotes du Rhone. The average age of the vineyards is over 50 years old with the oldest being nearly 80 years of age. Laurent Charvin describes his vineyard site as being cool for Chateauneuf as their vines are mostly planted on sandy north facing slopes. Certified organic. Charvin produces finely styled Grenache based wines showing great depth and finesse (approximately 80% Grenache for each wine with small amounts of Vacaresse and Mourvedre as well as small amounts of Carignan and Bourboulenc for the Côtes du Rhône). Winemaking is traditional with no de-stemming and all ageing is done in cement tanks. No wood is used for the elevage of either wine. There are no secrets here, simply old vines, very low yields and minimal winemaking intervention. The Côtes du Rhône is regularly rated as one of the very best from this area.
The bouquet comes straight off the garrigue, with menthol, scented prune, liqueur of plum fruit, smoke-rocks present. The palate has the usual butty depth of a warm year, sinew, muscle, with vibrant tannins that add a savoury note. This is real grounded wine, one with spark. It’s moving well, has character. The finish needs time to refine.