One of the gems in the vintage is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, and it’s about as beautiful an example of old vine Grenache as I could imagine. Sporting a deep purple color as well as a huge perfume of blackberries, black raspberries, garrigue, crushed flowers, and exotic spices, it hits the palate with a wealth of fruit, a stacked mid-palate, awesome purity of fruit, and a finish that won’t quit. Made from 100% old vine Grenache from the sandy soils of the Cristia lieu-dit, aged in one-third new barrels, it has a certain accessibility even today but will be at its best in 2-4 years and keep for 15+. It’s the finest wine ever made by Baptiste and readers need to find bottles of this elixir!
The pure Grenache 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes reached 16.5% alcohol yet carries it really well, showing just a trace of warmth. Cola, cedar and black cherry notes lead into a plush, full-bodied wine with supple tannins and remarkable length. Although it may age past a decade, there's no real reason to defer gratification. (JC)
Limpid ruby-red. Smoke- and spice-accented aromas of cherry liqueur, Chambord and candied flowers, along with a subtle floral quality that gains strength with air. Energetic red berry and bitter cherry flavors are complemented by mocha and licorice flourishes that take a sweeter turn on the back half. Youthful tannins lend grip to a long, focused finish that strongly echoes the cherry and floral notes. (JR)
This 100 percent grenache makes the best of its vineyard’s cool northeastern exposure in its lift, grace and herbal detail. While it has the red-cherry concentration of fruit you might expect from vines averaging 90 years old, it also has a tanginess that brings to mind the snap of taut cherry skin, the acid rush of a fresh plum and the fragrance of a strawberry patch after a light rain. It feels complete and inviting, an elegant Châteauneuf for a duck salad.
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