Moving to the Châteauneufs, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape includes slightly more Mourvèdre than normal and was brought up mostly in tank, with smaller amounts in demi-muids, barrels, and foudre. Blackberries, incense, licorice and beautifully complex spice characteristics flow to a full-bodied, opulent 2016 that ticks all the right boxes. With sweet tannin and beautiful purity, drink it over the coming 10-15 years. This estate hasn’t missed a beat in the past decade (or more) and their 2015s and 2016s both check-in near the top of the pyramid. It’s worth noting that this estate has started including slightly more stems than in the past while pulling back on the new barrels. Nevertheless, this is one estate who’s wines handle their oak elevage beautifully. They’ve also created a new white special cuvee based on Grenache Blanc and Clairette, and it’s a terrific wine worth seeking out (although I don’t know the price point).
Attractive freshness and power, this typifies much of what is great about the 2016 vintage. It carries the ripeness well. Dark berries and flowers lead to ripe plums and succulent, long tannins carrying abundant, ripe, dark fruit. Blows out big flavor on the finish. Drink or hold.
Brilliant ruby-red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, garrigue and potpourri, along with subtle woodsmoke and white pepper notes. Sweet, seamless and focused on the palate, offering juicy raspberry liqueur, spicecake and allspice flavors firmed by a spine of juicy acidity. Delivers a solid flavor punch but comes off graceful; a suave candied lavender note drives the gently tannic finish. (JR)
The nose of plum, damson, strawberry and garrigue herbs marks this out as very much a classic, young Châteauneuf. Full-bodied but fresh, it has powerful tannic weight. Well balanced through to the savoury finish. Drinking Window 2019-2026. (MW)
A blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% each Cinsault and Mourvèdre, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is full-bodied, rich and round. Despite being a touch on the warm side, it's deceptively easy to drink, with sexy flavors of raspberries and chocolate that glide to a smooth, lingering finish. (JC)
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