Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > 2003 Domaine de la Charbonniere, Vacqueyras

2003 Domaine de la Charbonniere, Vacqueyras

Vines from Vacqueyras, Image from Dme Charbonniere

Domaine de la Charbonniere was founded in 1912 when Eugen Maret bought it as a gift for his wife, who was the daughter of a local winemaker.  The domaine is named after the lieux-dit Carbonniere, or place where charcoal was burned.  Three generations later Michel now runs the estate.  This estate makes both Chateauneuf du Pape and Vacqueyras.  They primarily produce Chateauneuf du Pape with five cuvees from 17 hectares of vineyards.  This post is concerned with the Vacqueyras cuvee which is sourced from a single 4 hectare vineyard and not the Vacqueras Cuvee Speciale.

Wood Vats, Image from Dme Charbonniere

Vacqueyras lies on a north-south orientation with the town of Vacqueyras anchoring the northern end and the town of Sarrians anchoring the southern end.  The best vineyards are located on the Plateau de Garrigues near Sarrians.  For this cuvee, the grapes are sourced from a single vineyard on the “Hautes Garrigues”.  This vineyard is composed of red chalky calcareous soils with pebbles.  The vines range in age from 20 to 35 years. 

Hautes Garrigues de Sarrians, Image by Veronique Pagnier (wikimedia)

This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah that was aged for 6-8 months in big oak tanks.  I recently purchased this bottle from MacArthur’s for the terrific price of $15.  This wine will undoubtedly last many more years but I see no reason not to drink it now.  If I recall correctly, it is not up to the level of the 2005.  Fortunately we have a few bottles of the 2005 so later this month we will conclusively find out!

2003 Domaine de la Charbonniere, Vacqueyras
This bottle was in great shape.  The wine still showed dark red fruit that developed weight over several hours.  There were ample notes of stones mixed in throughout the palate.  Towards the finish there were flavors of licorice along with gritty, sweet tannins that coat the mouth.  The tannins were almost chewy and quite enjoyable.

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  1. January 27, 2012 at 8:44 am

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