Clos des Papes 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Wine Spectator 98 Rating
This offers a drop-dead gorgeous core of cassis and raspberry pâte de fruit flavors that hold center stage but still allow notes of Lapsang souchong tea, anise, incense and shiso leaf to chime in. Very long, with a sublime feel through the mineral-tinged finish. So seductive already, but this should cruise in the cellar. Drink now through 2040. 6,000 cases made, 850 cases imported.
Clos Saint Jean 2018 Chateauneuf Du Pape La Combe Des Fous
Jeb Dunnuck 98 Rating
The star of the show in 2018 is the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Combe Des Fous, which has an incredible mix of complexity, power, and elegance that’s something to behold. Sporting a deep purple/plum color as well as a killer bouquet of blackcurrants, lavender, peppery garrigue, graphite, and white chocolate, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a seamless, multi-dimensional texture, incredible tannins, and a gorgeous finish. This is as good as 2018 gets, and while it’s already impossible to resist, it’s going to evolve for 15+ years.
Chapelle St. Theodoric 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse
Wine Advocate 96 Rating
More powerful than its Le Grand Pin stablemate, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape La Guigasse is made the same minimalistic way—100% whole-cluster Grenache from a single site, in this case a sandy parcel in the lieu-dit La Guigasse. Raised in demi-muids for two years or more, depending on the vintage, it has some meaty, charred notes that could be barrel-derived, but the overall oak impact is probably more textural than olfactory. Hints of rose petals, cherries and even orange zest join with darker toned notes of cola and dried spices in a whirl of complexity that’s complemented by the wine’s silky tannins. It’s full-bodied but feels lighter, filling the mouth with its flavors while leaving the palate refreshed on the long finish.
Château Maucoil 2016 Privilège Red Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Wine Advocate 96 Rating
My favorite of this estate’s three red cuvées was the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Privilege, a barrel-aged blend (30% new) that includes 5% or so white grapes and a wide swathe of red varieties. The cedar and vanilla notes are pronounced but not overwhelming, serving to highlight gorgeous cherry fruit. It’s full-bodied, plush and unabashedly modern but also luminous and silky, with a long, long finish.
Domaine de Ferrand 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape
Jeb Dunnuck 95 Rating
Beautiful violets, wildflowers, Asian spices, lavender, and Bing cherry fruits all soar from the glass of the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape. This full-bodied, beautifully textured, seamless 2019 brings the richness of the vintage while staying light on its feet, elegant, and perfectly balanced. While the acidity is quite low (I’m sure the pH is quite high), this will age on its balance and concentration. Hats off to Philippe Bravey for another singular Châteauneuf du Pape that readers will love to have in their cellars. As usual, the blend is 85% Grenache, with the balance other permitted varieties, brought up completely in tank. It can be drunk any time over the coming 15 years or more.
Raymond Usseglio 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Girard
Wine Spectator 94 Rating
A special cuvée made for American importer Peter Weygandt, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Girard includes a bit more old-vine Grenache, and it shows in the wine’s increased elegance. It’s more floral than the regular bottling, with scents of tea and roses, but it’s also darker and richer, with black cherry fruit, a velvety mouthfeel and a long, layered finish.