The Usseglio’s consider the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul to be their greatest to date. I’ve done numerous tastings with the 2010 and 2007 side by side, and more times than not, I think the 2007 is the better wine. Time will tell though, and both are sensational wines that readers should have in their cellars. The inky colored 2010 is 100% Grenache fermented with 30% stems and aged in a combination of older barrels and foudre. More focused and precise than the '07 (and even darker in color), yet still with massive concentration and depth, it offers deep, rich notes of blackberries, cassis, ground herbs, pepper and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, thick and layered on the palate, it never puts a foot wrong, has fabulous purity and a blockbuster finish. It needs 3-4 years of cellaring, but will have 20-25 years of longevity. (JD) 98+
A deep, voluptuous, and concentrated Châteauneuf-du-Pape that’s a blend of 100% Grenache that is aged all in foudre and neutral barrel, the 2010 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Cuvée de mon Aïeul is deep purple and semi-opaque in color and offers up a spectacular bouquet of blackberry, raspberry liqueur, roasted meats, spring flowers, licorice, and edgy minerality. Checking in at over 16% alcohol, yet showing no heat on the nose, it is fresh and beautifully focused aromatically. This full-bodied, layered, and lavishly textured Châteauneuf-du-Pape has fantastic concentration and masses of ripe tannin that are only partially concealed by the wine’s fruit. While possibly a notch down from the ’07, this is about as good as this cuvee gets. It will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age, and drink beautifully for 2+ decades. 97+
Inky ruby. Red and dark berries on the highly perfumed, floral-accented nose. Lush but energetic, offering intense black raspberry and lavender pastille flavors and showing strong spicy cut. Fine-grained tannins give shape to a strikingly long, sappy finish. Superbly energetic and rich. (JR)
A bold, ripe, almost heady style, with thickly layered blueberry, fig and boysenberry fruit laced with mouthwatering spice and melted black licorice, followed by a long, fruitcake-filled finish. This has the stuffing and grip for cellaring, but ultimately for fans of the more bombastic style. Best from 2014 through 2030. (JM)
Dark crimson. Very ripe, almost porty on the nose. Lustrous and polished. Black cherry soup. Then quite marked tannin and acidity. Should make old bones. Quite dramatic. ‘Twould be interesting to taste this alongside one of the drier ports -- or a fine Douro red. Appetising and successful. 18/20 Points (JR)
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