Getting more than one exclamation in the notes, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de Mon Aïeul is a deep, rich yet vibrant red that offers a kaleidoscope of kirsch liqueur, garrigue, crushed flowers, Asian spices, and cured meats. It's more opulent and sexier than the 2010, fresher and purer than the 2007, has deep, full-bodied aromas and flavors, and a huge finish. It's a sensational, heavenly Châteauneuf-du-Pape that tops out my scale. This cuvée is 100% Grenache that was not destemmed and was aged in 20% demi-muids and the balance in concrete tanks.
All Grenache, all whole cluster and from parcels in the lieux-dits of La Guigasse, Le Crau and Les Serres, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul has evolved beautifully since I tasted it last year, showing vibrant floral and tea-like notes, raspberry fruit and hints of licorice. It's full-bodied, rich and velvety, with overtones of spice cake on the long, crisp finish. Tasting it, I was surprised to find out what the alcohol level was, because it showed no obvious heat—a testament to how much else is going on here. (JC)
Limpid ruby-red. Intensely perfumed, spice-accented aromas of ripe red and blue fruits, potpourri and incense expand steadily with air. Palate-staining raspberry and boysenberry flavors are complemented by an exotic floral pastille quality and suggestions of star anise and allspice. Rich but bright and energetic as well, showing superb finishing clarity, smooth, well-knit tannins and persistent florality. Made entirely with whole clusters and aged in a 60/40 combination of concrete vats and oak demi-muids. (JR)
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