The only 2017 presented was the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Château Sixtine, which checks in as a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre that spent a year in a mix of barrels, roughly 5% being new. Its deep purple hue gives way to a monster nose of pure black fruits, cured meat, pot roast-like nuances, and hints of chocolate. It's ripe, plush, and expansive on the palate, with full-bodied richness as well as sweet, polished tannins. With fabulous purity of fruit, no hard edges, and a great, great finish, this is unquestionably up with the finest vintages to date. Covering 50 acres in Châteauneuf du Pape, Château Sixtine (which was previously known as Cuvée du Vatican) is run by Jean-Marc Diffonty. The lineup has changes over the past 6-7 years but today they release their flagship cuvée under the Château Sixtine label and an entry level wine under the Cuvée du Vatican label. Diffonty knocked it out of the park with his 2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Château Sixtine and I’d wager it’s at the same level as the sensational 2016.
The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape is generously extracted and colored and has a rich, full-bodied feel on the palate. Scents of cola and cedar mark the nose, framing black cherries and dark chocolate. It's velvety and plush on the long, oaky finish, giving it a sense of approachability despite the size and weight. (JC)
Brilliant magenta. Aromas of ripe cherry, black raspberry and licorice are sharpened by a vibrant, smoky mineral element. Supple and expansive in the mouth, offering juicy red berry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that turn sweeter with air. Sweet and seamless in texture, showing impressive energy and floral lift on a very long, gently tannic finish that echoes the red fruit note. (JR)
Tasted blind. Generous and delicious ripe red-fruit character on the nose. Combines both candied elements with freshly picked fruit. Finely sieved tannins, smooth and persistent finish. Has a sense of restraint and balance, and won't need extensive cellaring. 17/20 points. (JH)
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