Opaque ruby. Smoke-accented blueberry and cherry compote aromas pick up peppery spice, lavender candy and mineral nuances with air. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering sweet, deeply concentrated red and blue fruit flavors and an exotic touch of five-spice powder. Spreads out slowly on the juicy, expansive finish, which is framed by supple, harmonious tannins.
The classic cuvee is the 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape Classique and checks in as a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Cinsault and the rest Syrah and Mourvèdre. All from the rolled stone soils of the Les Serres lieu-dit, it offers tons of peppery herbs, licorice and both blackberry and black raspberry-like fruit. Big, fruit filled and textured, it’s a terrific wine in the vintage and represents a good value. Under the guidance of Isabel Ferrando, who burst onto the scene in 2003, Domaine Saint Prefert has leapt into the handful of top estates in Châteauneuf du Pape. While the style has shifted slightly since 2009 - when she started including more stems and I think pulling back a touch on ripeness - her wines still have sensational levels of fruit, beautiful purity and overflowing Provençal charm. Today, she is assisted by consultant Baptiste Olivier, who’s increasingly working with a number of top estates. I’ve included her Châteauneuf du Pape Colombis cuvée here as well, and this cuvee is released under the Isabel Ferrando label. It’s 100% Grenache and comes mostly from the sandy soils of the Colombis lieu-dit, which is located on the western edge of the appellation. Readers looking for the essence of Grenache shouldn’t miss this beauty.
Ripe and very silky in feel, with a beam of raspberry coulis streaming through, picking up light anise, shiso leaf and incense notes along the way. Offers a sneakily long finish. Drink now through 2024
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