Brought up in new demi-muids, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre (the Mourvèdre is from the Cristia lieu-dit). Unquestionably the greatest vintage of this cuvée ever made, this crazy good 2016 knocks it out of the park with its huge nose of currants, seaweed, incense, garrigue, and chocolate. Just a massive, deep, powerful wine, with sweet tannin and remarkable purity, it’s going to flirt with perfection and keep for 20-25 years. Bravo to the Maret family as well as consultant Philippe Cambie!
Turning to the darker side of the fruit spectrum, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Vieilles Vignes veers toward black cherries, cola and spice. It's full-bodied, rich and velvety, but it takes a different tack than the more open and charming Les Hautes Brusquières bottling. It should drink well for close to two decades. They're the twins you might've fantasized about, one bright and bubbly, the other brooding and mysterious. And you can have both. (JC)
Wild, dark berries, spicy and meaty complexity, plenty of crushed violets and an earthy edge. This is a young, frisky Châteauneuf, backed by old-vine swagger. The palate has an immensely strong core of essence-like, black-fruit flavors, top-quality tannins and superior depth.
Full bright-rimmed ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red fruits, cherry liqueur, smoky minerals and incense. Energetic, impressively concentrated raspberry and kirsch flavors show excellent clarity and pick up a hint of smokiness with air. Velvety, harmonious tannins lend framework to an impressively long, mineral-accented finish that leaves behind a suggestion of candied lavender. (JR)
95% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre. Cask sample. Darker fruit than their Mourre des Perdrix cuvée, with very savoury liquorice flavours on the finish, and bitter herby notes too. Heavyweight and impressive for its sheer volume, but the style demands a strong constitution! (RH) 17/20
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