2017 Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf-du-Pape 'Mourre des Perdrix'

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About the Wine

The 2017 Domaine de la Charbonniere 'Mourre des Perdrix' comes from a single 22 acre parcel. This evocatively named cuvée, Mourre des Perdrix, is from a specific terroir composed of sands, pebbles, and safres. This unique terroir is home to 45-year-old vines that give way to a floral, fruity, and feminine wine, with blackberry and forest floor on the nose and a delightful silky palate.

Domaine de la Charbonnière has been the singular passion of the Maret family since their purchase of this iconic property in 1912. The young and charismatic Veronique Maret is responsible for the recent meteoric rise of Charbonnière – Veronique is handling all winemaking and somehow also finding the time to run the Domaine’s sales activities.

One of the most important changes Veronique made since taking over in 2012 was the move to organic viticulture. Organic farming really started to make its mark on the finished wines in 2014 and the press we’ve been seeing from that point on only validates our opinion on that front.

Domaine de la Charbonnière’s holdings spread over 68 acres in some of the region’s most sought after lieu dits – 49 of these in Châteauneuf du Pape, 15 in Vacqueyras, 4 in Côtes du Rhône. Winemaking is traditional with a profound respect for grapes and terroir. 

Tasting Notes70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre. Notes of raspberry, ground laurel, garrigue, and butterscotch. The mouth is very elegant with velvety tannins and a long dark berries & licorice finish.


The Mourre des Perdrix is the least expensive of Charbonnière's special cuvées, but often the most immediately hedonistic and fruit-focused. A perfumed blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault sourced primarily from sandy soils, it's a jubilant wild-berry swirl edged by fine, supple tannins. Irresistible young but concentrated enough to drink for a decade. ~96 Wine Enthusiast

Leading off the three special cuvées, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Mourre Des Perdrix comes from sandy soils near the estate and is always one of the more elegant, seamless wines from this estate. Beautiful red and blue fruits, kirsch, flowers, and spice notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, seamless, incredibly floral 2017 that has silky, polished tannins. This cuvée is 70% Grenache and 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre (there’s a splash of Cinsault) and it’s brought up in a mix of larger oak tanks and demi-muids.

One of the finest run estates in Châteauneuf du Pape is the Maret family’s Domaine de la Charbonnière, which is in the heart of the appellation, just off the route to Courthezon. They produce four Châteauneuf du Pape (readers should read last year’s report on the 2016 and 2017s for a description of each of the cuvées), all meriting attention. In addition, they’ve added two new Vacqueyras releases, bringing the total from that appellation to three cuvées. The 2017s aren’t far off what was achieved in 2016, and the 2018s all showed beautifully, with more depth and richness than most in the vintage. ~95 Jeb Dunnuck

After a rather long elevage—I've already reviewed this wine twice prior to bottling—the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Mourre des Perdrix exhibits a wonderfully generous yet silky and elegant presence in the mouth. Yes, it's full-bodied and high in alcohol (16% alcohol on the label), yet it manages to carry that with aplomb, masking the warmth with opulent red raspberries, black cherries, and hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Drink this already delicious wine over the next decade.

Charbonniere typically bottled later than most estates, so this was a first look at the 2017s out of bottle. They're reassuringly excellent across the board. Despite alcohol levels that will surely frighten some drinkers, they carry the alcohol well, buffering it with ample dry extract, supple tannins, and complex flavors. While some 2017s are a bit closed and tannic, these are gorgeous now. ~94 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Such beautifully fresh and attractive ripe red plums and rich berries here. This offers such rich and long, sweet fruit that holds the finish super deep and long. Dark-cherry and berry flavors abound. Drink over the next decade. ~94 James Suckling

This brims with a zesty mix of blackberry, black currant, and raspberry compote flavors, laced liberally with licorice root, sweet tobacco, garrigue, and warm earth notes that almost hold sway through the finish, before a final kick of energetic fruit takes its encore. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2023 through 2036. 800 cases made, 100 cases imported. ~94 Wine Spectator

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