Tasted from barrel, the 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape Collection Charles Giraud incorporates a splash of Syrah in 2014 and is a blend of 55% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. Aged 18 months in mostly two- to three-year-old barrels, it has lots of white pepper, cedary spice, plum and darker berry fruit on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, lively and fresh, yet with a rockin’ mid-palate and finish, it’s a terrific 2014 that will come together nicely with a year or two in bottle. 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.
Full ruby. Deeply perfumed, smoke-tinged aromas of cherry compote, boysenberry, anise and garrigue, complicated by a potpourri flourish. Juicy, expansive and appealingly sweet, offering intense red and blue fruit liqueur flavors and a touch of floral pastilles. Youthful tannins build slowly on an impressively long, focused finish that leaves a sexy lavender note behind.
Dense for the vintage, with a core of fig and blackberry fruit that has melded with ample pepper, tobacco and lavender notes. This has plenty in reserve, though the long, juicy finish lets everything play out, leaving a light sanguine echo at the very end. Should age well. Best from 2017 through 2029.
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