Charvin makes only one red Châteauneuf-du-Pape... this is consistently one of the purest and most perfumed expressions of the appellation. — Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Southern Rhone is home to Grenache-dominant blends, and it's Châteauneuf-du-Pape (CdP) where these wild strawberry, white pepper-spiced, and gamey reds reach their apex. The style here has been one of ever-growing power and ripeness, as hot temperatures tend to give these blends roasted fruit notes. But Domaine Charvin's wines take on a different quality than is the norm.

Domaine Charvin is northwest of the appellation, sitting on sandy soils, and northern exposure mitigates the sun's influence. The area's prominent Gallet river stones absorb the daytime heat and reverberate it upward to the hanging grape clusters well after sunset. However, wines from these rare sand-dominant parcels have elegance, racy structure, and a quiet purity void of any stewed or baked fruits.

Laurent took over the family domaine in 1990, and that's when the magic truly started. Unlike most producers, he ferments with whole clusters and has stuck with bottling one Châteauneuf-du-Pape. No reserve, spéciale cuvée, or old-vine bottling. Why should an estate's hallmark wine suffer by taking the best components out and bottling them separately? The single CdP bottling here is a perennial winner year in, year out.

Farming of these 60-year-old average vines is organic, with a blend usually of 85% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah, and 5% Vaccarèse. The wines are fermented with stems and aged in concrete tanks. This approach to elévage works well to preserve brightness and verve in the wines that otherwise may fall by the wayside.

Laurent's wines are seamless, spicy, and possess an elusive purity not often found in CdP. They always show dark raspberry and Asian spices, with smokey and wild floral notes. These are singular expressions Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and each release quickly sells out from importer Weygandt-Metzler.

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