Intense, with a core of dark plum, boysenberry and fig reduction flavors that are a bit brooding in feel, while licorice snap, roasted alder and tar notes hold sway for now. Shows a terrifically racy graphite and iron spine and a long, smoldering finish, so just let this stretch out in the cellar. (JM)
Deep ruby. Highly expressive aromas of candied raspberry, boysenberry, licorice pastille and lavender pick up a smoky quality as the wine opens up. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated red and blue fruit flavors complemented by an exotic vanilla flourish. Gains flesh on the clinging finish while maintaining energy; subtle tannins lend framework and grip. (JR)
Full-bodied and velvety, Sabon's 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve is a step up from the les Olivets bottling and probably represents the best value in the 2016 lineup. Tasted blind, it showcases ripe dark plum and cola but also super ripe Grenache notes of apricot and delicate hints of garrigue, then it turns rich and chewy on the long finish. It's 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah, matured in a mix of foudres and oak vats. (JC)
The same blend as the Les Olivets (80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve is similarly inky ruby/purple-colored and gives up a more dense, serious, backward style in its blackberry, melted licorice, roasted herb, and graphite aromas and flavors. With terrific minerality, full body, sweet tannin, and beautiful purity, it's a seriously good 2016 that's going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and drink nicely for 10-15.
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