In a domaine which bottles grapes from 50-year-old vines in their Côtes-du-Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, any cuvée called old vines must boast fruit from some truly gnarly-old roots and trunks. Working with organically farmed Grenache vines of 85 years of age, they produce small quantities of the Vieilles Vignes cuvée, their most prized and cellar-worthy bottling. Cellar-worthy it is, and will improve throughout the next fifteen years (at least), but if you open one and drink it tonight, your only regret will be that there’s one less in your cellar. Concentrated and dark, with the weight, gravity, and expansiveness one expects of a great wine, it shows blackberry, blueberry, and savory herbs in the mouth, with overtones of smoked meat and bacon fat, silky, sinuous tannins that flow over the tongue, and a balancing acidity that keeps it fresh and lively. Filled in with fig, chocolate, and licorice notes, and finishing sometime long after you’ve gone to bed, it has all the glories of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in one bottle.
Pairing: Have it with braised wild boar (try your local grocery), cassoulet, or grilled mutton.
VARIETY: 100% GRENACHE
REGION: Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhône Valley, FRANCE