- Item #: i_352147Bottle Size: 750mlVery dark. There is an aroma of stylish black berry fruit inside the bouquet, which has an oaked, grilled outer, black cherry, the fruit clear, some nutshells also. This is sleekly fruited, with crisp tannins, mineral, vin de terroir within the oak. There is a close link between nose and palate. It drives along on a smooth route, presents very fine juice. Graphite and close-knit juice appear on the finish. "It is square, runs straight down the line, has graphite, minerality.
- Item #: i_350340Bottle Size: 750mlWines from Le Clos du Caillou are Rhône blends at their most intense. Concentrated and richly textured, these organically raised, older-vine wines capture the spice and silk of old-vine Grenache grown on the region’s finest terroirs. Each wine too reflects the native perfumes of the south, the “garrigue” blend of thyme, rosemary and lavender that grows wild among the estate’s vines. Of all the terroir in the Côtes du Rhône appellation, the “clos” of Caillou has to be one of the most exceptional. Completely surrounded by Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, this walled parcel of land was intentionally left out of the appellation by the owner, following a bureaucratic spat back in 1936. What this means today is that Caillou’s Côtes du Rhône wines are the qualitatively the same, with regard to terroir and exposition, as top Châteauneuf wines.
- Item #: i_351379Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96ROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS: “The 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Urgonien is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, from 1.14 hectares planted on limestone-based soils. Rose petals and cherries fill the nose, while the full-bodied palate delivers fresh fruit, hints of dried spices—allspice, clove, anise—and a rich, supple texture. Although it weighs in at 15.2% alcohol, it doesn't show any warmth on the palate or finish. Bravo!”
- Item #: i_352348Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96Decanter: 96 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 97-99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96-99 POINTS: "The 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape looks to be a huge success and reminds me of the 2007. As is normal, Vincent keeps multiple foudres with different blends (as well as a foudre of the final blend), and it's always incredibly educational tasting through the different barrels. The final blend has a classic, sweet bouquet of kirsch, spices, and garrigue, and it's full-bodied, deep, and thrillingly concentrated on the palate. The blend is shifted more toward Mourvèdre due to the tiny quantity of Grenache in the vintage, which makes me think this cuvée might close down shortly after bottling, but it's upfront and incredibly expressive today."
DECANTER 96 POINTS: "There's 10% less Grenache in the blend this year, topped up with extra Mourvèdre which certainly makes itself felt. The final assemblage has a lovely depth and concentration of fruit, and is relatively tannic and structured in this vintage. It has plum and violet lift to the aromatic profile, and perhaps sacrifices a little elegance for power and potency in 2017 - not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your taste. A Clos des Papes for the depths of the cellar."
ROBERT PARKER 94-96 POINTS: "Paul-Vincent Avril and I tasted from several foudres of the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape. Foudre #17 was Syrah-heavy, with plenty of blueberry and blackberry fruit tinged with licorice. Full-bodied and rich, it was also silky and long (93 - 95 points). Number 19 was 55% Grenache and 45% Mourvèdre, more floral, herbal and spicy, with black cherry fruit and ample concentration (95 - 97 points). From #18, an approximation of the final 60,000-bottle blend, the wine was full-bodied and velvety, ripe and concentrated without going over the top, with cherry and blueberry fruit that lingered on the finish (94 - 96 points). According to Avril, the 2017 will be approximately 45% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, with the balance mainly Syrah, and a finished alcohol of about 15.3% (less than in 2016) Tasting in the cellar at Clos des Papes with Paul-Vincent Avril is an experience not to be missed, as he drops winemaking facts and philosophical nuggets into every discussion. With the focus on crafting only a single cuvée of red and white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a visitor inevitably misses out on many of the decisions that led to the blending of any given foudre's contents, but it is easier to see a picture of the overall vintage, at least as seen through the lens of Avril's winemaking. Grenache yields in 2017 were approximately 15 hectoliters per hectare, versus 25 hectoliters per hectare in 2016, so there is much less wine, and the 2017 Clos des Papes will have a higher proportion of Mourvèdre."
- Item #: i_351169Bottle Size: 750mlJEB DUNNUCK 93 - 96 POINTS - "Made from close to 100% Grenache and all from sandstone soils, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres offers more framboise, strawberry and kirsch-like notes to go with a full-bodied, layered style on the palate. Ripe, textured, and incredibly sexy, yet with building tannin (it’s more structured than the traditional cuvée), it's going to just sing on release, yet keep for 15+ years of more. Clos du Caillou, under the helm of the Vacheron family, with Bruno Gaspard as winemaker and Philippe Cambie as consultant, continues to release a bevy of brilliant Côtes du Rhônes and Châteauneuf du Papes. As I wrote last year, the style has shifted slightly towards the more elegant side of the spectrum and apparent with the 2015s, which at times had me wishing for slightly more density and breadth, especially with the top cuvees. Nevertheless, the wines are brilliant and the 2015 vintage as a whole is a more streamlined, elegant vintage. The 2016s appear to be a return to wines with more oomph, density, and depth, and I think are a clear step up.
WINE ADVOCATE 93-95 POINTS - "The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres delivers crisply defined cherry fruit, a richly tannic mid-palate and a long, focused, velvety finish. It looks likely to need a bit of cellaring but to be capable of aging up to two decades. This substantial estate totals 60 hectares in total, although only nine lie within Châteauneuf-du-Pape, concentrated in the sandier soils of the appellation's northeastern sector. On my visit, it was great to meet the young Marilou Vacheron, back to join the family estate after five years of business school, and the longtime (since 2002) winemaker Bruno Gaspard. The vineyards have been certified organic."
- Item #: i_352742Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Decanter: 95 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "I always love this cuvée, and the 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Quartz offers a terrific perfume of black raspberries, white flowers, orange blossom, honeysuckle, and crushed rocks. It's medium to full-bodied, seamless, and finesse-driven on the palate, with the pure, elegant style of the estate front and center. It picks up more minerality with time in the glass, is beautifully balanced, and has a great finish."
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz features scents of black olives and black cherries on the nose. It's a full-bodied, dense, tightly packed wine that will need time to fully express itself—is it a modern-day 2005? Ample cherry and stone fruit appear on the long, intense finish, confirming the terrific potential this wine possesses."
DECANTER 95 POINTS - "Grown half on galets and half on sand in lieu-dit Les Cassanets, the fruit is destemmed and fermented mostly in concrete, before being matured in demi-muid, except for a 10% portion in amphora. It has a highly individual aromatic profile, very dark and brooding. The full-bodied palate features black fruits with a lovely sense of purity and line. There's real weight and presence without heaviness, and wonderful harmony and balance. A highly polished wine with a slight sweetness to the fruit and a very long finish. The best Quartz in some time from Clos du Caillou - real depths to explore here despite the polish."
- Item #: i_352497Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Decanter: 94 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsDECANTER 94 POINTS - "Sourced from lieu-dit Les Bédines, the fruit is destemmed and fermented in concrete, then matured 75% in foudre and 25% in demi-muid. Loganberry and bay leaf notes display burgeoning complexity, leading to a very full-bodied and flowing palate with highly polished red berry fruit. It has great finesse in a highly tailored style, with incredible silkiness to the tannins - they're plentiful but super-fine. Captivating and seductive."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "More elegant as well as more complex, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Safres boasts beautiful notes of kirsch liqueur, new saddle leather, garrigue, and pepper incense. Rounded, beautifully textured, and elegant, with ultra-fine tannins, it's a seamless, sensational Châteauneuf Du Pape wine that shines on all accounts. It shows the sunny, sexy style of the vintage and is approachable today yet will keep for 15+ years or more."
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Hints of rosemary and pine accent cherries and apricots in the Grenache-dominated 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it finishes long and intense. Already drinking well, it should continue to do so through 2030."
- Item #: i_352249Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 100WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS: "Deeper and richer, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Deus ex Machina has been nothing short of perfection on the 3-4 times I’ve been lucky enough to try it. Muscular and powerful, with a serious, full-bodied profile, it gives up incredible aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, licorice, graphite, beef blood and loamy earth. Like most 2010s at this stage, it’s backwards and dense, and needs to be forgotten for another couple of years. This beauty will have 2-3 decades of overall longevity. (JD) (8/2014)"
- Item #: i_333944Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 97Vinous Media: 93-95Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsROBERT PARKER 97 POINTS: "The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous is full-bodied, rich and velvety, yet it also possesses more freshness and concentrated berry fruit than the Vieilles Vignes bottling. An absolute beauty of a beast, it delivers ripe raspberries and cherries, a gentle dusting of Asian spice and a long, long finish."
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS: "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Combe Des Fous checks in as a normal blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Vaccarèse and Cinsault, raised in tank and demi-muids. Kirsch liqueur, white flowers, graphite, ground pepper, and obvious minerality all emerge from this ethereal yet powerful, concentrated 2017. It's very much in the more Provençal, elegant style of this vintage, yet has classic Clos Saint Jean purity, style, and power. It's a gorgeous wine."
- Item #: i_352779Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "As always, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes has a touch more dark fruits, more concentration, and more structure, which makes it less approachable but more age-worthy. Blackcurrants, ground pepper, bouquet garni, crushed rocks, and garrigue notes all emerge from this structured, focused, yet ripe and beautifully textured Châteauneuf Du Pape that's going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age."
ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes starts off with scents of tapenade, then adds ripe cherries and cola notes. Dark and concentrated, it's full-bodied and open-knit, perhaps a bit coarser than the elegant 2016, with a touch of chocolate on the long finish. The Grenache in this cuvée was planted in 1905, making this a relative value among old-vine offerings."
- Item #: i_311270Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92James Suckling: 94Decanter: 92 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsJAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS -"This has a very plush, luscious and generously fleshy feel. Cherry compote, raspberries, blackberries and plums. Tarry elements, too. Smooth, velvety, pure and even. Succulence, elegance and clarity. Such value here. Drink or hold."
ROBERT PARKER 92+ POINTS - "The 2016 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet de Beaucastel was bottled just two weeks before my visit, hence the plus sign attached to its rating. Planted just outside the boundaries of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, the vines here average 80 years old. Mouthwatering aromas of red fruit and spice lead the way, backed by a full-bodied wine that's creamy and lush but also silky and vibrant. As always, it's one of the best Côtes du Rhône wines from a given vintage... Certainly, the wines are breathtaking at the upper levels, but the Perrin family continues to put effort into the entry-level wines as well, from the Coudelet de Beaucastel, which is always one of the top Côtes du Rhône wines, to the other wines reviewed under the Famille Perrin heading. 92+ points."
- Item #: i_352743Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsWINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Still not yet bottled for my June visit (it was scheduled to be bottled at the end of the month), the final blend of the 2017 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet de Beaucastel was showing plenty of garrigue and dried-spice notes layered over cherry fruit. Full-bodied, silky textured and long on the finish, it should drink well for a decade."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Côtes Du Rhône Coudoulet De Beaucastel is a textbook example of this cuvée, and while it tends to be a relatively expensive Côtes Du Rhône, it merits the price. Complex garrigue, ground pepper, and earthy dark fruits all flow to a medium to full-bodied wine that has a polished, elegant texture as well as the sunny, Provençal style of the vintage. It’s capable of lasting for 15 years or more."
- Item #: i_350369Bottle Size: 750mlROBERT PARKER 95-97 POINTS: "The tiny-production 2015 Saint Joseph Le Paradis Saint Pierre (100% Syrah aged in 5% new barrels) is a blockbuster that needs to be purchased by the case. Its inky color is followed by loads of liquid blackberry, cassis, crushed rocks, and damp earth/forest floor aromas and flavors. This full-bodied, ultra-pure, yet gorgeously concentrated effort has enough tannin to warrant 3-4 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades."
- Item #: i_322198Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94-96ROBERT PARKER 91-93 POINTS: "Sourced from 60-year-old vines and aged in 15% to 20% new oak, the 2016 Saint Joseph l'Olivaie offers a concentrated mouthful of black olive and cherry fruit, a velvety texture and a long, cool finish. This medium to full-bodied wine should drink well on release and for up to decade. Young Jerôme Coursodon now farms 16 hectares in Saint Joseph, centered around Mauves, just outside Tournon. He considers the 2016s more approachable than the dense 2015s."
JEB DUNNUCK 91-93 POINTS: "Leading off the 2016s from barrel, the 2016 Saint Joseph L'Olivaie comes from the lieu-dit of the same name and vines averaging 60 years in age. It’s a ripe, concentrated beauty that's loaded with notions of black raspberries, scorched earth, spice and pepper. With medium to full-bodied richness, ripe, present tannin and a great finish, it's going to be a great value. I continue to love the wines from the young Jerome Coursodon, who pulls from roughly 16 hectares of vines all in the southern part of Saint Joseph, mostly just outside the village of Mauves. The 2015s are monster, blockbuster styled efforts that I suspect won’t appeal to the traditionalists out there, but are singular wines. The 2016s are more elegant and finesse-driven, yet still pack in more sweet fruit than just about everyone else out there."
- Item #: i_353033Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 96JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS: "The flagship from this estate is the 2016 Saint Joseph Paradis Saint Pierre, which comes from an incredible terroir high up on the granite slopes just outside of Mauves. Deep purple-colored, with a stunning array of cassis, blackberries, toasted spice, dried herbs, and bouquet garni, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full body, a seamless, elegant texture, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's one of the wines in the vintage and, while already beautiful today, has a good 10-15 years of longevity."
- Item #: i_333501Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93Dave Phinney's D66 Cotes Catalanes adds more depth and concentration and includes some Syrah and Carignan in the Grenache dominant blend. This takes it up a notch and is a very crowd-pleasing wine.
ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "A blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and a splash of Carignan, the 2014 Cotes Catalanes Grenache D66 IGP spent ten months in roughly 30% new barrels. This inky colored, downright sexy 2014 offers terrific notes of blueberries, blackberries, violets and chalky minerality. Big, concentrated and textured, yet still playing in the more elegant style of the 2014 vintage, this beauty will drink well for a decade."
- Item #: i_309543Bottle Size: 750MLDecanter: 95 PointsWe are fortunate this month to find the perfect crossover hit in the Delas Saint-Esprit. This delicious Cotes-du-Rhone red blend is versatile with a full-bodied character which remains remarkably fresh. This wine will pair perfectly with your party platters of pulled pork, tri-tip or ribs as well as heartier fare of stews or chili.
This crowd-pleasing red is grown in the warmth of the Mediterranean climate and is a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache. The vineyards are influenced by the famed, harsh Mistral winds that rush through the Rhône Valley, keeping the sky clear and full of sunshine most of the time. Buffeted by the extreme winds, the vines have to work hard and create grapes of character and quality, which is evidenced in this wine by Delas. As many a talented winemaker has stated, great wines are made in the vineyard.
This dry red wine clearly shows the hallmarks of Syrah and Grenache. The nose shows gorgeous floral notes, black raspberry, bright cherries, plum and a touch of anise and spice. On the palate, the wine is generous and pleasing, showcasing bold fruits enveloped in silky tannins. This is a wine very much in balance with a harmonious and lengthy finish. Delicious!
- Item #: i_345948Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Deeply colored, the 2016 Gigondas La Louisiane comes from single vineyard on the lower plain, not far from the estate, and is 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, and the balance Syrah and Cinsault. It offers a classic bouquet of dark berry fruits, peppery herbs, garrigue, and obvious minerality. Reminding me of the 2010 with its pure, straight style, it’s full-bodied and elegant on the palate, and is going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age."
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Gigondas La Louisiane is looking a bit more structured and tannic than it did last year. It's full-bodied, rich and creamy across the mid-palate, then firms up adding hints of licorice and chocolate along the way. It does have the ripe stone fruit and berry notes to sustain it over time, so give it a couple of years (maybe even four or five) to relax and unwind that tightness on the finish. Tasted twice, with consistent notes."
- Item #: i_353039Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS: "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is an awesome wine from Laurent, and while it shows the sunny, ripe, sexy style of the vintage, it never loses the elegance and purity that’s the hallmark of Charvin. Lots of kirsch, graphite, dried flowers, garrigue, and ample minerality flow to a medium to full-bodied, silky, incredibly well-balanced red that has a stacked mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and it will cruise over the following two decades."
- Item #: i_333216Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90-92JEB DUNNUCK 90-92 POINTS: "The largest production effort is the 2016 Saint Joseph Silice, which offers lots of blackberry jam, Asian spice, and peppered meat aromas and flavors. This ripe, sexy, beautifully textured 2016 is going to be another terrific value for the true wine lovers and drinkers out there. I continue to love the wines from the young Jerome Coursodon, who pulls from roughly 16 hectares of vines all in the southern part of Saint Joseph, mostly just outside the village of Mauves. The 2015s are monster, blockbuster styled efforts that I suspect won’t appeal to the traditionalists out there, but are singular wines. The 2016s are more elegant and finesse-driven, yet still pack in more sweet fruit than just about everyone else out there."
- Item #: i_349978Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsWINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS: This has an intense core of crushed plum, raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors, draped with melted licorice notes and backed by a wave of warm fruitcake. Hedonistic for sure, but accents of anise, violet and singed apple wood dart around, adding extra facets of intrigue to hold your attention. Grenache and Mourvèdre.
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS: The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance is a gem and as always is a 60/40 split of Grenache and Mourvèdre brought up in demi-muids and smaller barrels (one-third new). Blackcurrants, blackberries, wine marinade, licorice, and pepper all emerge from this opulent, incredibly sexy beauty that has full-bodied richness, sweet tannin and more mid-palate depth and richness than most. It’s going to need 3-4 years of cellaring to hit its stride and last for 15+. (10/2017)
- Item #: i_345247Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 93Vinous Media: 92-94BIODYNAMICALLY FARMED
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Beaurenard has excelled this vintage. The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is no slouch, with ample richness, bold cherry and apricot fruit and attractive hints of dried spices and garrigue. Complex, full-bodied and supple, it finishes long and silky. It's two-thirds Grenache Noir, with the rest composed of the 17 other permitted grape varieties."
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "nicely packed, with raspberry and plum compote flavors at the core, liberally lined with singed alder, tobacco and warm brick accents. The finish has a grippy edge, but this red stays fresh and driven overall. Best from 2020 through 2030.
- Item #: i_351856Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsBIODYNAMICALLY FARMED
Deep ruby color. Raspberry and scrubland with smoky notes and a touch of blackcurrant. In the mouth, the intense raspberry is complemented by notes of black cherry, very pleasant freshness with a beautiful roundness.