The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve is a downright sexy, exuberant barrel sample that delivers the goods. Blackcurrants, licorice, roasted herbs and hints of flowers all emerge from this full-bodied beauty that has sweet, sweet tannin and a great finish. This cuvée is 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, aged mostly in foudre, and it’s possibly the finest vintage of this cuvée to date.
Deep ruby. Highly expressive aromas of candied raspberry, boysenberry, licorice pastille and lavender pick up a smoky quality as the wine opens up. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated red and blue fruit flavors complemented by an exotic vanilla flourish. Gains flesh on the clinging finish while maintaining energy; subtle tannins lend framework and grip. (JR)
Intense, with a core of dark plum, boysenberry and fig reduction flavors that are a bit brooding in feel, while licorice snap, roasted alder and tar notes hold sway for now. Shows a terrifically racy graphite and iron spine and a long, smoldering finish, so just let this stretch out in the cellar. (JM)
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2016 Raymond Usseglio "Cuvée Impériale - Vignes Centenaires" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)