A gutsy style, with a frame of brick dust around a core of steeped cherry, plum and blackberry fruit. The back end pulls in dried sage, savory and tobacco notes. The finish lingers over a singed chestnut hint. Rock-solid and unabashedly old-school. Best from 2020 through 2030. (JM)
According to Laurence Féraud, the 2014 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee was bottled in November 2016. It's already drinking well, with charming aromas of potpourri leading the way. It's medium to full-bodied, rounded out by just enough cherry fruit, then drawing to a spicy, leather-and-silk finish. Féraud calls it her little Burgundy. The formidable Laurence Féraud had already put in a whole day of work picking grapes for the 2017 vintage and still needed to prepare the crew's lunch for the following day of harvesting when I showed up. Still, she graciously took the time to taste through numerous wines with me and discuss some of her winemaking philosophy. For example, when it comes to white wines she says, "I like sharp but also rich but not heavy." And when it comes to the '15s and '16s, "I like '15. I'm not really a fan of riper." Unlike most producers, her 2015 Châteauneufs had yet to be bottled at the beginning of September, hence the scores are given as ranges. (JC)
The 2014 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée reminds me of the 2008 with its classic, balanced, elegant style. It’s not the most serious wine from the estate, yet it offers textbook garrigue, pepper, and meatiness, medium body, fine, silky tannins, and a great finish. It’s ideal for drinking over the coming 7-8 years, and given the track record of this wine for aging gracefully even in difficult vintages, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it drink nicely for longer.
A wild, rustic edge to this assertive and punchy fruit-driven Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A smooth black cherry and blood plum-flavored palate. Appealing tangy freshness to close. The rusticity denotes drink now or as a much older wine.
This is as ripe as a fat pear, with marzipan richness and a hint of bitter orange. It holds more promise right now than overt flavor; give it another year in the cellar and decant for rich fish.
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