Red-fruited and garrigue-laden, the nose of the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin is glorious, showing remarkable complexity in its notes of cherries, raspberries and strawberries, all accented by hints of bay leaf, lavender and thyme, plus deeper bass notes of black olives, roasted meat, espresso, star anise and dark chocolate. Full-bodied and intense, it seems to have added structure since last year, with a firm matrix of tannins holding it all together and lingering on the lengthy finish. Put this Mourvèdre-based blend (approximately 60%) away for five or more years; it should drink well for a couple of decades beyond that. When I tasted with Marc Perrin back in 2019, he was insistent that 2018 was a terrific vintage, despite crop losses early in the season. Based on the performance of Beaucastel's finished wines, his assessment is understandable. The 2018s here are highly successful, showing ample concentration, complexity and length allied to considerable freshness. Yields in some parcels were as low as eight hectoliters per hectare, but the wines aren't jammy or overly tannic—although they are definitely structured to age. (JC)
Opaque ruby. Powerful dark berry, cherry cola, incense, potpourri, musky earth and spicecake aromas show outstanding clarity and pick up a smoky mineral nuance with aeration. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated but energetic black raspberry, cherry preserve, five-spice powder and lavender pastille flavors given lift and spine by a core of juicy acidity. Blends richness and finesse with a deft hand and finishes incredibly long and precise, with youthfully firm tannins adding shape and final grip. (JR)
It was clear right out of the gate that 2018 would be an excellent vintage of Hommage à Jacques Perrin, and two years on you can see how it is shaping up to be both powerful and self-contained. The fruit character is savoury and mouthwatering, with light flicks of spiced cedar, garrigue, sour cherry and grilled raspberry. This is so good, maintaining grip right through the palate and stretching out the flavour with a saline kissed finish. Organic. (JA)
Lastly, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Hommage A Jacques Perrin showed beautifully, and while it doesn’t hit the heights of the 2001, 2007, 2010, 2016, or 2017, it’s a beautiful expression of this cuvée that deserves a place in the cellar. Revealing a deep purple hue as well as a kaleidoscope-like array of blueberries, charred meat, graphite, ground pepper, violets, and garrigue, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, seamless texture, building tannins, and a magical finish. It doesn’t have the sheer wealth of material found in truly great vintage and stays compact and focused on the palate, but it has beautiful depth of fruit and intensity, as well as a seamlessness to its tannins. I suspect it will be relatively approachable by this cuvee’s standards, yet it still has enough structure and tannins to warrant a solid 7-8 years of bottle age. Given its balance, freshness, and purity, it’s going to age beautifully.
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