fermented in concrete vats and aged in a combination of concrete tanks and wood casks) Ruby-red. Energetic, mineral-accented aromas of ripe red and dark berries, complicated by suggestions of incense and pungent flowers. Broad and fleshy on entry, then more taut in the midpalate, offering pliant black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a suggestion of five-spice powder. Finishes very long and sweet, featuring slow-building tannins, a touch of smokiness and repeating red fruit character. This wine is shaping up to be an outstanding "basic" Châteauneuf. (JR)
Raised mostly in concrete, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape features gentle strawberry-raspberry fruit and loads of subtle spice. It's medium to full-bodied, marked by silky tannins and a long finish. It's not the most powerful, concentrated wine, but it's certainly one of the most elegant. It's 85% Grenache, with the balance a mix of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. Sophie Armenier considers 2015 to be more elegant than 2016 at this estate, saying that the rain that fell in Châteauneuf du Pape on August 26 and the beginning of September came just at the right times. Picking started the third week in September, with La Crau finishing up on October 5. The 2016 vintage has more freshness because of bigger temperature drops at night, yet it also has higher alcohol levels and was harvested earlier. Grenache came in between September 14 and 28. Sophie's sister has recently retired, but her son, Vincent, has now come to work with her on the estate. "We're not looking for too much ripeness or too much extraction," she says. (JC)
The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (84% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, and 6% Syrah) shows the hallmark elegance and purity of this estate, as well as classic notes of framboise, spiced strawberries and incense. It's a medium to full-bodied 2015 that has plenty of richness, integrated acidity, and a clean, classic feel that going to evolve for a decade or more. (JebDunnuck.com)
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