A candidate for perfection, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale Vignes Centenaire is clearly the greatest wine I have ever tasted from Raymond Usseglio, even eclipsing their remarkable 2007. Don’t be surprised if it merits a three-digit score in five or six years. Somewhat closed, but bursting with potential, the wine is inky/purple to the rim and boasts abundant amounts of concentrated, jammy blackberry, kirsch, licorice, lavender, forest floor, white chocolate and a hint of truffles in its magnificent perfume. Some tannins appear in the mouth, but there is no doubting the luxurious concentration, multidimensional mouthfeel, full-bodied texture, enormous extract and richness, and nearly endless finish. This monumental Chateauneuf du Pape needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and consumed over the following 2-3 decades. This classic winemaking estate, which employs the well-known Xavier Vignon as their consultant, owns over 45 acres spread throughout Chateauneuf du Pape, with the largest holdings in the north. Drink from 2016-2046. (RP)
A thrillingly complete wine, the 2010 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Imperiale is a field blend of roughly 90% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre, 3% Syrah, and 2% Cinsault that comes from vines planted in 1902. Aged all in concrete tank, it offers up a spectacular bouquet of blackberry liqueur, graphite, licorice, lavender, and pepper that flows to a full-bodied, rich, yet elegantly styled palate. This is not over the top in any way and possesses a layered, silky texture, fabulous concentration, juicy acidity, and finely polished tannin that frames the finish. It should be given 4-6 years of bottle age, and then consumed over the following two decades.
Glass-staining purple. Heady scents of spice- and floral-accented dark berries, cherry-vanilla, anise and incense, along with a smoky topnote. Lush and seamless on the palate, offering palate-staining blackberry, blueberry and floral pastille flavors. Silky tannins build on the endless finish, which leaves behind notes of blue fruit preserves, licorice and smoky Indian spices. Velvety tannins come on late but are quickly absorbed by this wine's lush, deeply concentrated fruit. (JR)
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