Intense, with a Turkish coffee note out front before the core of steeped plum, black cherry and fig fruit starts to unfurl, while extra hints of singed alder, garrigue and warm earth develop, adding length and range on the finish. Delivers muscular power and perfumed grace that work together perfectly. (JM)
Boasting the darkest fruit of the three 2018s from Saint-Préfert, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Collection Charles Giraud delivers notes of black cherries and dark chocolate, plus hints of wintergreen, cassia bark and baking spices. It's full-bodied but less expansive on the palate than the others, compact and dense without being heavy or overdone, and it's framed by ripe but supportive tannins. Mexican chocolate and cola notes linger elegantly on the lasting finish. While well-heeled consumers fight over the limited volumes of the super 2018 Collection Charles Giraud and Reserve Auguste Favier, the smart money will be chasing the regular bottlings of red and white Châteauneuf du Pape. The 2019 Côtes du Rhône Beatus Ille is almost as good, and it retails around $20—an even better bargain. (JC)
Lastly, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Collection Charles Giraud is a more Mourvèdre driven wine and is 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, from 80-year-old vines, that was only partially destemmed and brought up all in demi-muids. Ruby/purple-hued with gorgeous crème de cassis and black cherry fruits as well as notes of smoked meats, white chocolate, ground pepper, and candied violets, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a seamless, silky texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great, great finish. As with the other 2018s here, it’s pure class. It can be drunk today or cellared for 15+ years. 95+
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