Made from close to 100% Grenache and all from sandstone soils, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres offers more framboise, strawberry and kirsch-like notes to go with a full-bodied, layered style on the palate. Ripe, textured, and incredibly sexy, yet with building tannin (it’s more structured than the traditional cuvée), it's going to just sing on release, yet keep for 15+ years of more. Clos du Caillou, under the helm of the Vacheron family, with Bruno Gaspard as winemaker and Philippe Cambie as consultant, continues to release a bevy of brilliant Côtes du Rhônes and Châteauneuf du Papes. As I wrote last year, the style has shifted slightly towards the more elegant side of the spectrum and apparent with the 2015s, which at times had me wishing for slightly more density and breadth, especially with the top cuvees. Nevertheless, the wines are brilliant and the 2015 vintage as a whole is a more streamlined, elegant vintage. The 2016s appear to be a return to wines with more oomph, density, and depth, and I think are a clear step up.
Sourced from the lieu-dit of Les Bédines, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres is 95% Grenache, with the remainder being a mix of other permitted varieties. Like the other wines from Le Clos du Caillou, it shows great intensity and purity. Flowering garrigue accents black cherry fruit in this full-bodied, fresh, vibrant and intense wine, which ends with a burst of bright orange zest and waves of silky tannins. (JC)
Vivid ruby-red. Highly perfumed red and blue fruit and floral pastille aromas are complemented by Asian spices and smoky mineral flourishes. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering sweet cherry and raspberry liqueur flavors that become deeper and spicier as the wine opens up. Shows impressive power and breadth on a very long, floral-accented finish shaped by supple, harmonious tannins. (JR)
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