This has a drop-dead gorgeous core of cassis and raspberry pâte de fruit flavors that holds center stage but still allows notes of Lapsang souchong tea, anise, incense and shiso leaf to chime in. Very long, with a sublime feel through the mineral-tinged finish. So seductive already, but this will cruise in the cellar. Drink now through 2040.
Bottled in May, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is a floral, elegant, unbelievably complex wine. Roses and violets, cherries and stone fruit, cinnamon and allspice and more are carried across the full-bodied yet almost weightless palate, finishing in a swirl of silky tannins and lingering spice. Drink it over the next two decades. Because there are fewer wines to taste at Clos des Papes—Paul-Vincent Avril steadfastly produces only a single white and a single red Châteauneuf du Pape—there is more time to talk. "I love Burgundy," he says, and that preference is reflected in the wines. On the other hand, "Maturity for Grenache is never under 14.5%, but it's not at 16% or 17% for me." He also allows that it's not all about Grenache, saying that complexity comes from blending varieties and sites, which he often does in the same fermentation vats. There's no oak used for the whites because he feels the wines lose too much freshness. For the reds, it was instructive to taste through various foudres to see the differences that varietal makeup and site can have on the wines. He compares 2016 to 2010 and 1990, while 2015 he likens to 2005 and 1978. You won't be disappointed in whichever one you choose.(JC)
A superlatively elegant, middleweight, Mourvèdrerich Châteauneuf that glides across the palate like silk, featuring juicy plum and strawberry fruits, lifted juniper and fennel seed freshness. Very fine clay tannins. Intense but not through extraction; generous, but with energy and precision. Effortless.(MW)
(raised in foudres) Deep ruby. Hugely aromatic red and dark berry, potpourri and floral scents are underscored by smoky minerality and an exotic suggestion of Asian spices. Sappy, focused and impressively deep yet lively, offering alluringly sweet raspberry, cherry compote and spicecake flavors and a refreshingly bitter touch of blood orange. Puts on weight and spreads out steadily with air, acquiring a succulent herb note that carries through the strikingly long, mineral-laced, gently tannic finish. This beauty is shaping up to be among the standouts of this extremely successful vintage. (JR)
Tasted on three separate occasions, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Paul-Vincent is a classic, elegant, and incredibly complex style of wine reminiscent of a Grand Cru Red Burgundy (Chambolle-Musigny?). Black raspberries, blueberries, incense, pine resin, dried orange and exotic floral notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, ethereally textured 2015 that has moderate tannin, beautiful purity, and a seamless finish. I compared this to an improved 2005 last year when I tasted it from barrel, but I’m not sure that comparison holds today, and I struggle to come up with another similar vintage. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful wine that should be at its best from 2020-2030+. (JebDunnuck.com)
Impressive and bright mixed summer berry and spiced cherry fruits on the nose in a vibrant, alluringly complex style. The palate delivers succulently ripe red cherry and plum fruit flavors. Plenty of weight. Gently warm and spicy finish. Drink from 2020.
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2016 Raymond Usseglio "Cuvée Impériale - Vignes Centenaires" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)