2010 Domaine Monpertuis “Secret de Gabriel” Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Domaine Monpertuis is a relatively new Domaine (1971), founded by a very old family of winemakers, the Jeune family. The property consists of 17 hectares, or approximately 42 acres of cultivated vineyards. The property is one of the oldest in Chateauneuf, dating back to the time of Roman colonization. The vineyards are spread across a large number of parcels, which lend great diversity in soil types. In addition, the family owns some of the oldest vines in the region, some as old as 130 years, although the average vine age is 70 years.

The Domaine Monpertuis “Secret de Gabriel” is made from 100% old vine Grenache with vines dating to about 1880. The wine is aged in foudres and concrete vats for an average of 12 to 16 months. Approximately (825) cases are produced each year. In 2007, the estate officially changed the name of the wine from Vielle Vignes to “Secret de Gabriel.”

Being able to buy a wine that already has considerable bottle age (13 years) is a treat and the result is a mellow, smooth, yet sublimely complicated wine. My tasting note:

Vibrant nose, with dried fruit, exotic spice, and earthy garrigue. Well-balanced with moderate acidity and smooth, supple tannins. Lovely on the palate, with juicy black cherry fruit, dark chocolate and dried flower notes. Very long finish with seemingly infinite layers of complexity. Simply sublime.

I highly recommend, if you can find some of this delicious nectar, buy as much as you can. It will age gracefully for many, many years to come.