A prodigious effort, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Hautes Brusquieres Cuvee Speciale was yet to be bottled during my June visit. It offers up sweet floral aromas, hints of thyme and rosemary and bold cherry fruit. Full-bodied and creamy-velvety in texture, it's a hugely seductive mouthful of wine that I found difficult to spit. If it emerges from the bottling process looking like this, buyers will have huge smiles on their faces. (JC)
Blackberries, crushed rocks, peppery herbs, and graphite notes all emerge from the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hautes Brusquières, the most concentrated, rich, and opulent in the lineup. It has brilliant purity of fruit, ripe, polished tannins, and a great, great finish, all making for a brilliant 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape that will keep for 15+ years.
This opulent blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah offers rich, luscious plum and cherry flavors. Although rounded and creamy on the palate, it avoids feeling dense or heavy. Ripe, integrated tannins and whispers of garrigue and violet extend the finish. While enjoyable already for its forward fruit, it should gain savory complexities through 2036 and hold further. (AI)
This sports the dark and intense fruit of the vintage's overall profile, with a range of black currant, fig and boysenberry pâte de fruit notes that meld with flavors of licorice snap, fruitcake, singed mesquite and smoldering black tea. The long finish is well-structured and focused, infused with a perfume that lingers beautifully.
Incredible depth and power here. This is saturated with ripe, black fruit and sealed up with some spicy, attractive oak. The brambly palate is powerful, concentrated and fresh. Top Châteauneuf here.
Vivid magenta. Lively, spice-accented raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by building lavender and spice qualities, and a hint of garrigue emerges with air. Seamless and alluringly sweet, offering juicy, mineral-laced red and blue fruit preserve and floral pastille flavors and a hint of star anise. Closes sappy and impressively long, displaying harmonious tannins and insistent florality. (JR)
A lovely nose with a distinctly herbal bitters vein running through the dark brambly fruits. Soft, svelte and yielding on the palate, the tannins have mass but are very ripe, just about balancing the high acidity and punchy alcohol. The most successful of Charbonnière's wines this year, and like all of them it will take a long time to come round, but should reward patience. (MW)
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