The 1989 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Réservée is more sweetly fruited and upfront than the classically styled 1999, offering a beautiful perfume of kirsch, sappy garrigue, pepper, and tapenade aromas and flavors. It too is medium to full-bodied, has loads of sweet fruit, and a mature, balanced, ready to go style.
Even more impressive on this visit was the superb showing of the 1989 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Réservée. Despite large yields, hot weather and high levels of ripeness, this full-bodied wine maintains a sense of easy silky elegance. Leather and cherries add hints of licorice on the long finish. I don't expect it to stay at this plateau forever, so I'd advise lucky owners to consider drinking up over the next couple of years. As we started the tasting with the white wines, Laurence Féraud pointed out that those yields were affected by mildew in 2018—not just the Grenache. Her white wine production in Châteauneuf du Pape was roughly half of normal. She also said that there will be no Cuvée da Capo in either 2017 or 2018. "In 2018, there's weakness in the mid-palate. Bigger berries, thinner skins." In compensation, consumers can look forward to a delicious, early-drinking Cuvée Réservée from 2018, and a dense, long-lived version in 2017. One highlight of this year's visit was a chance to try the 2009 and 1989 Cuvée Réservées, both of which are reassuringly excellent and still drinking well. I'll have reviews of the rest of the Feraud wines—her various Côtes du Rhône offerings—in Part 2 of the Southern Rhône report (JC)
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