Made from 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and 5% Mourvèdre, the 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier reveals notes of plums, violets, ground pepper, licorice and hints of scorched earth. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and sexy, it’s more focused and elegant than the classic cuvée, and more fruity than the Collection Charles Giraud, which is more tannic. 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. (JD)
Deep ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet displays scents of fresh red fruits, incense and smoky minerals, and a suave lavender nuance builds as the wine opens up. Juicy, alluringly sweet raspberry and floral pastille flavors become fleshier and deeper with air while maintaining their vivacity. Seamless and pure, finishing with excellent clarity and persistence and harmonious tannins that come in slowly. (JR)
This is generously fruited, with a core of fig, blackberry and boysenberry confiture pumping along, framed with a lively black licorice note and carrying through a rich, black tea-accented finish. For the hedonist crowd. Best from 2024 through. (JM)
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