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)
Veins of smoke, pepper and clove penetrate powerful black plum and mulberry flavors in this wine. It's exuberantly rich yet avoids feeling brooding or brawny. A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre, it's brightened by fresh acidity and tense, gripping tannins. Although already inviting for its forward, juicy demeanor, it's structured enough to improve through 2040 and hold further.
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.
Limpid ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, exotic spices and candied flowers, and garrigue and mineral flourishes expand with aeration. Sweet, seamless and energetic on the palate, offering intense Chambord, cherry cola, spicecake and candied lavender flavors sharpened by a late jolt of white pepper. The mineral quality comes back strong an extremely long, supple finish shaped by velvety, even tannins. (JR)
Dark, winey and alluring, this delivers an intense beam of fig, boysenberry and blackberry paste flavors, inlaid with licorice snap, singed spice and warm fruitcake notes. The long finish is well-structured, letting the fruit play out against a graphite backdrop. Should age nicely. Best from 2022 through 2037.
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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