The tiny production 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Spéciale is Grenache dominated and comes from 100-year-old vines planted in the sandy portions of the famed la Crau lieu-dit. It looks to be one of the stars in the vintage. Blackberries, pepper, violets, and earth all emerge from this full-bodied, massively concentrated, Grenache that has sweet tannin, no hard edges and the opulence and purity of this sensational vintage.
Bright violet. Expansive aromas of red and blue fruit preserves, exotic spices and incense develop a sexy potpourri element with air. Broad, seamless and deep in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry, cherry liqueur and spicecake flavors braced and sharpened by a core of juicy acidity. The floral note comes back steadily as the wine opens in the glass and carries through a sweet, strikingly long, subtly tannic finish that shows outstanding clarity. (JR)
Not as deeply crimson as the other two 2016 Châteauneufs from this producer. The sand may explain. Very fragrant and lifted. Already quite expressive on the nose, and apparently not as dense as its stablemates. Very round and charming on the front palate. Masses of both tannin and acidity underneath but it’s the smoothly polished fruit that grabs the attention. There’s a note of tamarind as well as of red glacé cherries here. All pleasure but it definitely should evolve further. Rich red fruit. Extra complexity already compared with the Vieilles Vignes version. (RH) 18.5/20
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