Even better (as well as a perfect wine), the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Collection Charles Giraud checks in as a nominal blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre that was brought up in demi-muids. It reveals a deep purple color as well as heavenly notes of blackberry and currant fruits intermixed with loads of cured meats, spice box, Asian spices, and a distinct loamy soil and minerality. Always more structured and powerful than the Reserve Auguste Favier release (no doubt due to the Mourvèdre component), it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, building yet polished tannins, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. Pure perfection in a glass, it’s as good as wine gets. Give bottles 2-4 years and enjoy over the following two decades. Hats off to winemaker Isabelle Ferrando for yet another thrilling wine!
Full-bodied, richly concentrated and velvety-textured, the 2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Collection Charles Giraud is one of the top wines of the vintage. A blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, it offers up seductive notes of dried spices and cola, plus plenty of plummy fruit. It's lush and long on the finish, folding in hints of clove, allspice and star anise. Isabel Ferrando deserves enormous credit for raising the quality and image of this estate. In many ways, she epitomizes the wines she crafts, showing great generosity and elegance on the outside, while possessing a strong will and great ambition. The 2018 vintage wasn't an easy one here, with crop losses reaching 50%. The highlight for me of this year's visit was a chance to look back at a couple of the wines from 2009. There's no doubt in my mind that the wines Ferrando is making now surpass what she was doing at that time, and she seems to agree. 'In ten years, I've progressed. My sensitivity to the terroir is much more now,' she said. (JC)
Saturated ruby. Explosive, smoke- and mineral-accented black raspberry, cherry cola, exotic spice and candied lavender aromas show outstanding delineation and pick up a succulent herb nuance with air. Sweet and expansive in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated red and dark berry preserve, fruitcake and floral pastille flavors and hints of star anise and musky rhubarb. The strikingly long, energetic finish shows strong minerally cut, an echo of sappy blue fruit and molten tannins that sneak in late. (JR)
Packed with dark plum, blackberry and boysenberry compote flavors and backed by lively bramble, anise and fruitcake notes, this cruises through a grippy, tar-edged finish. (JM)
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