In this sleek, freshly composed blend of Grenache (80%) and Syrah (20%), bright flavors of raspberry coulis and sour-cherry nectar are anchored by undertones of fur, asphalt and camphor. Softly tannic and edged by a bristle of chestnut skins, it’s a structured wine that maximizes both fruit and earth with finesse. At peak now through 2030, the wine is likely to hold further. Made from organic grapes. (AI)
My favorite in the lineup, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Habemus Papam plays in the more full-bodied, powerful end of the spectrum, showing a smoking good core of ripe red and blue fruits, roasted garrigue, toasted spices, violets, and earth-like aromas and flavors. With plenty of mid-palate depth, an expansive, rounded texture, and a great finish, this sexy 2018 can be enjoyed any time over the coming 10 to 15 years. As with all the 2018s from this estate, the texture as well as the balance are spot-on. The young yet obviously talented Benjamin Gras continues to make an elegant, beautifully balanced style of wine from this benchmark estate in Gigondas, which now also produces a handful of terrific Châteauneuf du Pape. He’s made the most of the 2018 vintage, and these are impressive wines.
Rather lush, with a gorgeous velvety mouthfeel to its mix of crushed plum, boysenberry puree and steeped black cherry fruit. Long threads of black tea, mineral and incense dangle through the finish, adding to the alluring feel. Best from 2023 through 2036.
Currently showing reduction on the nose, but this should be rectified before bottling, better on the palate. It’s a tight, taut style that is focussed and intense and tannic too. Quite an idiosyncratic style. There’s a lovely sense of salinity and freshness on the palate providing drinkability and power - a rare combination. Needs to be re-tasted once in bottle, but could be excellent. Grown on sandy clay soils, aged for 18 months in foudres and terracotta jars Drinking Window 2022 - 2028. (MW)
A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Habemus Papam boasts intriguing aromas of garrigue, fennel, roses and purple raspberries. It's medium to full-bodied and silky in texture, striking a fine structural balance between delicacy and tensile strength, with a long, mouthwatering, licorice-tinged finish. This prominent Gigondas estate owns several small parcels in Chateauneuf du Pape, three of which are bottled separately. Young Benjamin Gras believes in a lengthy elevage, so this was a first chance to see the 2017s out of bottle, as well as the newly bottled 2018s. Unfortunately, there was no 2018 La Crau Ouest produced (mildew). (JC)
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