ENTERED RECENTLY, a round-up of over 165 2010 CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE REDS that rate 3 stars or higher. See 2010 SOUTHERN RHÔNE in the left-hand column - click the subtag The Leading Wines. The main tranche is starting to be bottled now, and these are usually high quality, complex, delightful wines; the early bottled wines - within 11 months of the harvest - can be agreeable, but simple. I prefer 2010 to 2009 across the board - it has much better balance and freedom.
This recently inaugurated event runs on 31 March and 1 April, 2012 this year. It was set up by the "Young Vignerons" of Châteauneuf in 2010, and runs from 10 am to 7 pm each day in the Salle Dufays village hall, cost of entry €7. There will be 77 domaines taking part, and another twist is that all the village restaurants will allow corkage for wines brought to them during the weekend. The best names are La Mère Germaine - say hello to mon ami André - the pretty Verger des Papes up by the Château, and Le Garbure, opposite the LMG, most formal of the three. Evening grub at Château des Fines Roches is pretty good, and the Alonso in Sorgues is tops, as is L`Essentiel, the best restaurant in Avignon.
There are also workshops on Southern French cheese and Châteauneuf, the Terroirs (€35, in English, 31 March, 3 to 5 pm), Risottos and Châteauneuf, and Terroirs again on 1 April (French, only €25 for that one, 3 to 5 pm again). Read more on: