The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Combe des Fous shows the seamless, silky side to the vintage, and has closed down slightly since I tasted it from barrel. Its big, intense nose of black cherries, blueberries, white chocolate, and garrigue gives way to a full-bodied, plush, gorgeously layered 2015 that will benefit from 2-4 years of cellaring.
Opaque ruby. Intensely perfumed aromas of ripe dark berries, candied lavender, cola and white pepper, accompanied by a hint of musky earth in the background. Juicy and broad on the palate, offering alluringly sweet black currant, cherry liqueur and spicecake flavors that pick up a refreshingly bitter edge with air. The dark berry note repeats strongly on the youthfully tannic finish, which clings with superb persistence and lingering florality. (JR)
This pumps out dark currant, plum and raspberry pâte de fruit flavors along with notes of licorice root, ganache and warm fruitcake. Densely packed, but the details are still evident through the graphite-fueled finish. Impressive. (JM)
A healthy 25% of this cuvée is Syrah aged in new oak, which impacts the aromas and flavors of the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous in a substantial way. Baking spices and vanilla are apparent, but there are plenty of bold red-fruit flavors to balance them out. The one wobble is that the alcohol (a whopping 16%) shows through a bit on the finish. I'd opt for drinking this plush, voluptuous wine over the near term. (JC)
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