A few quick thoughts on the 2010 Domaine Chante Cigale Vieilles Vignes Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The Favier family tends the 40 ha (100 acres) of Domaine Chante Cigale in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The estate was founded in 1874 by the Faviers’ ancestor, Hyppolite Jourdan.
Alexandre Favier, grandson of Noël Sobon and part of the notable Sobon clan, has been in charge of his family domaine since he was 20 years old. Harry Karis notes in The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Wine Book that Noël (Roger’s brother) ran the domaine from 1950 to 1975 when he was then succeeded by Alexandre’s father.
On the label, cicadas feature prominently in the crest and pay homage to the French translation of Chante Cigale, singing cicadas.
The domaine’s best parcels include Grenache plantings next to Chateau Rayas as well as old vine plantings in Bois Dauphin, Pignan, Les Pialons and Cabrieres.
The 2010 vintage is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre. Parcels for the Vieilles Vignes comes from vines with a minimum age of 80 years up to 100+ years. After fermentation, Favier then aged the wine in a combination of 30% oak barrels (mix of new and neutral), 30% concrete tank and 40% foudre.
Yearly, Chante Cigale produces only around 20,000 bottles with the Vielle Vignes accounting for about 500 cases.
High-intensity nose–roasted coffee beans with some smokey bacon fat. Very mouthwatering aromatics. Blackberries and pepper spice round out the bouquet.
On the palate, the roasted coffee notes come through with a little chocolatey espresso flavor of oak. Medium-plus acidity amplifies the full-bodied dark fruit, adding black currants and cherries. Medium-plus tannins have a firm grip with a chalky texture. Long finish ends on the spice and mouthwatering bacon notes.
This is an incredibly elegant and complex Châteauneuf that more than merits its $80-100 price tag. A bottle worth savoring.
The wine is in a good spot now with its mix of fruit and savory notes. However, it certainly has the structure to continue aging beautifully.