This red puts on a gorgeous display of racy cassis, cherry puree and raspberry coulis flavors laced with garrigue and singed sandalwood accents, while a mouthwatering mineral edge drives underneath. The long finish lets the fruit play out, adding flickers of tobacco and shiso leaf. (JM)
Also Grenache dominated yet blend with 15% Cinsault, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier gives up a brilliant and complex bouquet of red and blackberries, Provençal garrigue, lavender, peppered meat, and baking spices. Rich, full-bodied, and with another level of concentration over the classic cuvee, this is another incredibly classy, seamless, flawlessly balanced wine that does everything right. It’s certainly great today yet has building tannins and is going to evolve for 15+ years.
Usually the most ethereal and perfumed of the cuvées at Saint-Préfert, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier lives up to that billing yet again, with floral notes that suggest rose petals and violets, delicate hints of dried spices and Provençal herbs and plenty of red-berried fruit. It's full-bodied but almost lacy in feel, with a fine, silky texture and a long, elegant finish with a surprisingly tannic edge. 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)
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