Wine Advocate 99
"Possibly the finest example of the Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee du Papet since Mont Olivet’s unreal 1990, the 2010 is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah, all aged in foudre. The grapes come from the estate’s oldest vines (50- to 105-years-old), which were planted in the famous sites of Mont Olivet and Bois Dauphin. A extraordinarily deep plum/purple color is followed by notes of balsam wood, raspberries, black currants, lavender, garrigue, kirsch, licorice and underbrush. This quintessential Chateauneuf du Pape smells like an open-air Provencal market. It is a full-bodied, full-throttle, multilayered wine with exceptional concentration, power and precision. While it can be approached now, it will not hit its prime for another 3-4 years, and should last for two decades given how well the 1990 continues to perform."
One of the first properties to estate bottle their wines (over 80 years ago), Clos du Mont Olivet is owned by a branch of the Sabon family, a name that is well-known throughout the village of Chateauneuf du Pape.
Stephen Tanzer 93
"Vivid ruby. Highly complex bouquet evokes black raspberry, Asian spices and garrigue, with a faint smoky quality in the background. Sappy, pure and penetrating, offering excellent depth to its spicy red berry and cherry flavors. Fine-grained tannins add shape and grip to the very long, sweet, focused finish, with the floral quality carrying through."
Rhone Report 93-95
"As with the 2010 traditional cuvee, the 2010 Clos du Mont-Olivet Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvee du Papet has a very classic, structured profile that will demand cellar time. A blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah, this delivers gorgeous purity and freshness with perfectly ripe red and black fruits, garrigue, flowers, and spice on the nose. While this has a fleshy, rich, yet elegant texture, with good acidity, the core here is firm, concentrated, and quite tannic. It will be interesting to see how all of this comes together in bottle, but there’s plenty of potential here. It will be a wine for consumers with cool cellars, and an affinity for traditional, classically made Chateauneuf-du-Papes (and I count myself among them!)"
Clos du Mont OlivetView all from Clos du Mont Olivet
The wines of this estate, which traces its history back to 1547, are among the finest of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Run by the esteemed Sabon family, Clos du Mont-Olivet is made in a traditional style: partial destemming of grapes, crushing and fermenting in concrete vats, and aging in large foudres.
Making wine is a family affair at Clos du Mont Olivet, and the three Sabon brothers -- Jean-Claude, Pierre and Bernard have run the domaine for the last 30 years, with Bernard's son Thierry gradually assuming winemaking duties, starting gradually in 2001. The wines are composed predominantly of Grenache (usually around 80%), with Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault completing the blend. The vines of this estate average over 60 years old.
The 29-hectares of Chateauneuf du Pape that the domaine holds (they also have 17ha of Cotes du Rhone vineyards) is made up of many small parcels, spread throughout the appellation, that vary in size between 21 ares and 3 hectares. Montalivet is a walled vineyard to the east that surrounds the domaine and features the Sabons' oldest vines. Since 1990, these grapes have formed the basis for the deluxe "Cuvée Papet" – an amazingly concentrated and complex Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Further north, Le Pied-de-Baud contains "galets roulés," the large oval rocks for which Châteauneuf-du-Pape is well-known. Although the vines here are younger, the spherical stones reflect the intense southern-Rhone sun, thereby ripening the grapes to full maturity. The third primary section of vines, located to the south, is known as Les Gallimades, a plot of smaller stones and gravel with excellent drainage.
Blending wines sourced from these three areas, the Sabons fashion complex Châteauneuf-du-Pape that combines the fruit intensity and alcoholic strength of Grenache with a slight and appealing hint of rusticity. It only makes sense that such a renowned Châteauneuf producer would also make fabulous Cotes-du-Rhone, which indeed they do; year after year, these are among the best Cotes-du-Rhone values to be found.