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Top Values in 2010 Chateauneuf-du-Pape (and where to buy them)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Photo by wburris

With all the excitement surround 2010 Rhone as it relates to Scoop the Spectator 2012 I thought it would be interesting to pause for a moment and focus on the best actionable values in 2010 Chateauneuf-du-Pape. When I say actionable I mean wines that can still be had at retail for at or below release price.

But determining value is a little more complicated. Sometimes when people talk about value wines they really mean wines under some arbitrary price. But the deal hound knows that value can be had at all price points - it depends on what you get for your dollar.

When scanning through the ratings and prices in Wine Spectator's recent 2010 Rhone issue I noticed they didn't have a Top Values section for 2010 Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Although they did have a Top Southern Rhone Values section (CdP is part of the Southern Rhone) it was capped at $20. That being the case there were no CdPs in the value rankings.

We can scan the Top CdPs for good Quality-to-Price Ratio (QPR) wines but I thought I might be missing some good wines because the lowest rated wine in that list is 94 points.

To determine value within a category I use the wwpQPR equation (Wellesley Wine Press Quality-Price-Ratio). There's a JavaScript implementation of this calculator on the right side of my site. Give it a try if you're interested, but I've pulled Spectator's ratings for 2010 CdP and put them through the equation:

More on the WWP QPR here if you're interested, but here's what the wwpQPR scale looks like:

Interpreting the wwpQPR's Normalized Scale:
  • >8.0 Incredible value
  • 4.0-7.99 Outstanding value
  • 2.0-3.99 Very good value
  • 1.5-1.99 Good value
  • 1.01-1.49 Above average value
  • 0.5-0.99 Below average value
  • 0-0.49 Poor value
Normally I try to obtain these wines and taste them to offer an additional opinion to consider. But these 2010s, from what I've tasted, really need time to be enjoyable. Compared to the gregarious 2007s, these 2010s are more classically styled. That being the case, I doubt I'm going to pop a lot of these in the near term, least of all before the best values have disappeared from retailers.

All of these are 2010 Chateauneuf-du-Papes, sorted by value according to the wwpQPR Calculator:
  1. Domaine St. Prefert Charles Giraud 99WS/$75/3.20 wwpQPR (Very Good Value)
  2. Domaine St. Prefert Auguste Favier 97WS/$58/2.16 wwpQPR (Very Good Value)
  3. Domaine de Beaurenard Boisrenard 97WS/$70/2.16 wwpQPR (Very Good Value)
  4. Chateau Fortia Tradition 93WS/$31/1.94 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  5. Kirkland (Costco) Signature Cuvee de Nalys 91WS/$20/1.89 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  6. Le Vieux Donjon 96WS/$66/1.82 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  7. Domaine Giraud Les Grenaches de Pierre 98WS/$105/1.81 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  8. Domaine Giraud Tradition 95WS/$54/1.76 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  9. Domaine Giraud Les Gallimardes 97WS/$88/1.72 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  10. Domaine Ferrando Colombis 95WS/$58/1.64 wwpQRP (Good Value)

    How about that Costco wine sneaking in there? Don't think I would have caught that if I hadn't done this exercise. (PS I've tried had the wine, didn't much like it. 86 points WWP)

    Some of these we've talked about before -- Four 2010 Chateauneufs that have a very real chance of slipping away -- but those four wines were more through the lens of which CdPs have a shot at winning WS Wine of the Year.

    I wanted to push a little further to find the 5 best CdP values you can still actually buy.

    So I had to press on to the next 10 wines. I started catching white CdPs - had to filter those out of course ;)
  11. Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe La Crau 96WS/$75/1.60 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  12. Domaine de la Cote de L'Ange 93WS/$39/1.54 wwpQRP (Good Value)
  13. Clos des Papes 98WS/$128/1.49 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  14. Domaine Tour St.-Michel Feminessance 95WS/$66/1.44 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  15. Tardieu-Laurent Vieilles Vignes 96WS/$85/1.41 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  16. Chateau Fortia Cuvee du Baron 92WS/$55/1.37 wwpQPR (Good Value)
  17. Domaine de Cristia Renaissance 96WS/$88/1.36 wwpQPR (Good Value)
Of these 17 wines, here are the 5 best 2010 Chateauneuf values you can still buy along with some commentary:

Domaine de Beaurenard Boisrenard CdP
97WS/$70/750 Cases Produced
2.16 wwpQPR: Very Good Value

Still available between $60 and $70 but only from a few retailers: Wine-Searcher

Best East Coast play: Empire Wine at $70
Best West Coast play: K&L at $60

Note: Beaurenard also makes a regular CdP bottling that's also a nice value (93WS/$44). RP only went 91 points on this one so this should temper enthusiasm a bit.

Chateau Fortia Tradition CdP
93WS/$31/9,000 Cases Produced
1.94 wwpQPR: Good Value

Still available between $28 and $38 from numerous retailers: Wine-Searcher

Best East Coast play: $28 at Gary's
Best West Coast play: $28 at Vinopolis

Note: There is a 92WS/$34 "Cuvee de Baron" bottling as well (also a good value) and some retailers list a Rouge bottling which I don't see a rating for from Spectator.

Domaine Ferrando Colombis CdP

95WS/$58/400 Cases Produced
1.64 WWP QPR: Good Value

Some east coast availability between $60-$90: Wine-Searcher

Best East Coast Play: Grapes the Wine Co
Best West Coast Play: None

Note: A whopping 97 points from RP on this one so I'd expect it to go quickly.

Domaine de la Cote de L'Ange CdP
93WS/$39/6,000 Cases Produced

Better availability on the east coast south of release price: Wine-Searcher

Best East Coast Play: Gary's and Wine Library both at $32
Best West Coast Play: Vinopolis at $36

Note: They also produce a pricier Vieilles Vignes bottling (94WS/$62). 93 RP as well.

Clos des Papes CdP
98WS/$128/5,600 Cases Produced

Availability beginning to diminish at favorable price points but the ship hasn't sailed yet: Wine-Searcher

Best East Coast Play: Grapes the Wine Co
Best West Coast Play: Premier Cru
Best Massachusetts Play: Gordon's (though I doubt their pre-arrival offers are still actionable)

Note: Even when the 2005 won Wine of the Year it could still be found for just slightly over retail. I wouldn't go too nuts trying to track this one down. It's out there. 99 RP.

Hope this is useful. If you haven't already, don't forget to get your entries in for Scoop the Spectator 2012! Many of these wines haven't been guessed yet. Contest ends Friday and we're playing for a $200 Amazon Gift Card. Thanks for the entries so far! I've updated each of the entries with Wine-Searcher links to make it easier to find these wines.

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