2011 M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $64.94 (reg. $89.94 / Online Avg. $115)
The Barbe Rac is one of Chapoutier’s greatest single vineyard releases from the Southern Rhone and the absolute peak expression of pure old-world Grenache. The century-old vineyard that supplies Barbe Rac produces sublime wines full of soft, spiced red fruits, and old-vine complexity. Michel Chapoutier is the undisputed master of artisanal winemaking in the Rhone, and his exploration of tiny beautiful pieces of terroir known as the “Selections Parcellaires” represent the best of the entire valley. With literally dozens of 100-point scores to his name, Chapoutier’s success is a result of his unrivaled devotion to terroir. At today’s price, this is an amazing value for a “luxury cuvee” (Parker) from Chapoutier that is a joy to drink at any stage of its evolution.
Robert Parker has written that Chapoutier’s single vineyard wines are “among the world’s greatest” and “reference points for nearly all the Rhone Valley appellations.” The 2011 Barbe Rac is a “superb success in the vintage” (Wine Advocate) thanks to Chapoutier’s rigorous selection process in the vineyard. Only free run juice goes into this single-vineyard Châteauneuf, which is why production is so small, typically numbering in the hundreds of cases not thousands. With global demand for the Chapoutier portfolio as high as it’s ever been, fans of both old and new world Grenache will want to jump on this back-vintage gem immediately.