The 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape La Reserve is actually just under 50% Grenache. With the rampant mildew this vintage, Mourvèdre accounts for the majority of this wine, which is normally a 60-40 blend favoring Grenache. Despite that, it remains dominated by red fruit. Raspberries and cherries are accented by hints of tree bark and cedar (it's aged in demi-muids, 20% of which are new) on the nose, while the full-bodied palate is silky and lush, rich yet airy. The finish lingers elegantly, picking up hints of baking spices and licorice. (JC)
Limpid ruby-red. An assertively perfumed, expansive bouquet evokes ripe red berries, cherry preserves, exotic spices and incense, with bright floral and mineral nuances emerging as the wine opens up. Utterly stains the palate with sweet raspberry preserve, cherry pie, allspice, candied licorice and lavender flavors that suavely convey both power and finesse. Smooth, harmonious tannins build very slowly through the floral- and spice-dominated finish which shows absolutely no rough edges. This wine is shaping up to be monumental. (aged in demi-muids for 18 months) (JR)
The flagship is the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Réserve and it’s an even split of Grenache and Mourvèdre that was all destemmed and was brought up mostly in demi-muids (there was a small part in larger, clay amphora. Slightly deeper hued than the Les Quartz, it has a Mourvèdre dominated bouquet of red and black berry fruits, loads of spice and dried garrigue, graphite, and a hint of mint. With full-bodied richness on the palate, it has an incredible sense of purity and finesse in its tannins and texture, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. I’d put this in the top handful of wines in the vintage and while it’s approachable today, it’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for two decades.
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