The 2010 vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and throughout the southern Rhône Valley is quite possibly the finest in the last decade or more. Neither lean nor overripe, Domaine du Vieux Lazaret’s classic 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape offers up seductive scents of savory Provencal garrigue and wild herb, and plenty of fruit, spice and mineral flavors to complement its haunting bouquet. From the wine’s dark ruby center wells a trove of ripe black cherry and raspberry fruit imbued with subtle hints of Asian spices and black olives. But this classic effort should not be rushed. In the mouth, this Châteauneuf-du-Pape unfolds slowly, a characteristic of the great 2010 vintage, ultimately revealing rich fruit, flesh and bone, before exiting with authority in the form of a long lingering finish that is perfectly framed by ripe tannins. With ample aeration (an hour or more), the 2010 vintage is an excellent vintage for current drinking, but it is even better suited for long term cellaring. Bright, but full-bodied, it should age gracefully for another decade or more. To Jerome Quiot’s credit, he has once again managed in his 2010 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Châteauneuf-du-Pape to capture the finest attributes of the remarkable 2010 vintage, including immediate drinkability as well as the capacity to improve for a decade or more. Enjoy this highly sought after Châteauneuf-du-Pape at cool room temperature (58°-62° F) now and over the next 8-10 years. Not surprisingly, it has garnered 90 points or more from wine critics and major publications.
One of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s many attributes is how well it complements a wide variety of foods, from game prepared with elaborate sauces to simple unadorned pizzas. However, our preference is to pair Jerome Quiot’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape, including the majestic 2010 vintage, with the finest fare we can muster, beginning with classic Provençal specialties. Regional favorites such as gigot d’agneau (roast leg of lamb) and savory lamb stew promise a memorable meal and an equally satisfying evening when paired with the 2010 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret. Lamb, prepared almost any way one can image, provides a splendid opportunity to highlight the full, rich flavors of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as the flavors of the meat are simultaneously enhanced and mellowed by the wine. Nevertheless, Quiot’s classic, full-bodied 2010 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret is hardly a one dish wine. We enjoy this Châteauneuf-du-Pape equally well with fine cuts of beef, venison, and herb infused vegetarian specialties made with eggplant and squash. Ravioli stuffed with lobster and tortellini made with fresh peas and prosciutto provide other excellent accompaniments. Furthermore, the 2010 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret, like its predecessors, has the ability to elevate simple well-prepared foods to the status of haute cuisine, so no need to worry about what to serve: this wine will stand and deliver. Bon Appétit!
A proponent of the fleshy, seductive, modern style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Jerome Quiot, proprietor of Domaine du Vieux Lazaret and several other prestigious southern Rhône estates, continues to push the envelope in fashioning forward, immensely pleasing Châteauneuf-du-Pape from his substantial, well-established property. With nearly 250 acres to exploit, Quiot is one of the movers and shakers in what most critics claim to be the finest appellation in France. Quiot also plays an integral role in the administration of the appellation system in France, a process that not so ironically was born in Châteauneuf-du-Pape during the 1920s.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape has been blessed with a nearly ideal climate for vines and the production of red and white wines. Châteauneuf-du-Pape does indeed produce white wine as well as red wine, although in much smaller quantities. It also possesses some of the oldest vines in France; the average age of vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape is in excess of 40 years, which is by far the oldest of any major appellation in France. In addition, the entire production of this great appellation is hand harvested, and we haven’t even mentioned the region’s fabulous terroir – large flat stones known as galets that provide excellent drainage as well as subtle nuances of flavor in the resulting wine.
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