JEB DUNNUCK 100 POINTS: "Similarly colored to the Signature cuvée, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Pure boasts a heavenly, classic Pure perfume of wild strawberries, kirsch, and black cherries intermixed with exotic spices, crushed flowers, nori (the seaweed wrapper used for sushi), and sandy, loamy, earthy notes. Possessing full-bodied richness and a multi-dimensional, ultra-fine, yet intense and powerful style on the palate, it has the purity of the vintage and is just a quintessential example of this cuvée that couldn't get any better. It reminds me of the 2005, only with more purity and freshness. It's already sensational (it's probably the most approachable vintage of this cuvée I remember) but this cuvée always gains depth and weight with bottle age. Give it 3-4 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy bottles over the following two decades. Hats off to the young Julien Barrot for yet another truly sensational wine. The brilliant Julien Barrot has recently completed work on his new cellar located just across from Clos de Pape, inside the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and he continues to make a pure, elegant style of wine from his roughly 32 acres of vines, most of which are on sandy soils. While the estate has produced wine for decades now (although the first commercial vintage was 2003), the first truly breakout vintage was 2005. He’s followed that up with a succession of incredible wines in just about every vintage. Looking at the 2016s, this is another great vintage here."
WINE ADVOCATE 99 POINTS: "There are nearly 300 cases of the nectar that is the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Pure. Produced from 100+-year-old Grenache vines grown in sandy soils, simply put, it's just awesome juice. A kaleidoscope of red fruits—cherries, raspberries and strawberries—swirl languorously across the palate, boasting great intensity while seeming weightless at the same time. Hints of dried herbs and spices add complexity to this luscious concoction, which must be tasted to be believed. Silky and endless, and showing no alcoholic heat on the finish, it's the poster child for great Grenache. Am I being too conservative at 99 points? Under the young and capable leadership of Laetitia and Julien Barrot, Domaine la Barroche represents a bright light in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The brother and sister team have 15 hectares in the appellation, mainly in the northern sector (generally cooler and sandier). Only 12.5 hectares (with an impressive average of 65-year-old vines) are currently producing, other portions having recently been replanted to white varieties or Counoise. The Signature is a terrific introduction to the house style, ripe and silky without going over the top, while the Pure bottling represents how great Grenache grown on sandy soils can be. There's now also a white version of Pure, made from Clairette. It, too, is a dramatic reflection of its pairing of grape variety and site. The 2008, at ten years of age, is nearing its end, but it still delivers plenty of pleasure and is a noteworthy"