Four 2010 Chateauneufs that have a very real chance of slipping away

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'd estimate there's a 60% chance a 2010 Rhone is named Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year this year. And a 40% chance that wine will come from the Southern Rhone - specifically Chateauneuf.

If that happens to any of the 4 wines listed below there is no chance you'll be able to buy them for less than $100/bottle so it might make sense to buy some now before the opportunity gets away.

One thing that's nice about being on the buy side of the wine game is that you can be selective about how you buy wine. You only have to swing at the perfect pitch.

Here are 4 2010 Chateauneufs Wine Spectator rated 95+ points, have a release price of $100 or less, with 1,000 or more cases produced. They're good buys and they're good picks for Scoop the Spectator. One of these hasn't been guessed yet!

DOMAINE ST.-PRÉFERT Châteauneuf-du-Pape Auguste Favier Réserve
97WS/$58/1,665 Cases Produced

St. Prefert seemed to crush it across the board this year. All of their wines scored well relative to their production levels and price points but this one seems to hit the sweet spot.

I caught a bottle of this at $48.95. Best price I see now is $69.99:

Recommendation: I think the ship has largely sailed on this one. Check out their entry level bottling if you're looking to get a feel for this producer. I thought the 2009 St. Prefert Giraud bottling at $55, especially given that the 2010 Prefert Giraud is completely sold out in the US after raking in a 99 point rating from Spectator (and was it a potential perfect score from Parker?)

LE VIEUX DONJON Châteauneuf-du-Pape
96WS/$66/8,000 Cases Produced

I like the way Donjon produces a single bottling rather than fracturing up their offerings in a confusing manner. But beware that this 2010 isn't as approachable in its youth as the gregarious 2007. That said, I've adored their brambly style across several vintages and this is my favorite play in Chateauneuf.

Although this carries a $66 release price, it's available for around $50 if you look around. But it's drying up quickly.

Recommendation: Buy now from a favored retailer. Even if it doesn't win the top spot it's a great buy at $50. Give it the time it needs and enjoy it over the coming decade. While it's aging consider buying some of the amazing 2007 - you can still find some if you look around.

96WS/$78/4,200 Cases Produced

I put this wine on par with Donjon in terms of prestige. It's fantastic. But it's also a little pricier. I've often seen off vintages of this wine in the mid $50s at Costco but better vintages don't seem to make it there.

Recommendation: Buy selectively in the low $60s. Even if this one wins and it escalates into the $150+ range, it's not like $60 is an affordable wine.

DOMAINE GIRAUD Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition
95WS/$54/1,300 Cases Produced

I have no experience with this producer but I love the metrics. Parker rated it 92-94 points so it's not like Spectator's 95 is an anomaly. Nobody has guessed this one in Scoop the Spectator yet!

Recommendation: Give it a try. A $40, 95 WS 2010 CdP? Sold.

They even have it on icon

If you haven't gotten your entry in for Scoop the Spectator 2012 you still have time. We're playing for a $200 Amazon gift card so it's worth taking a moment to see if you can find an angle:


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